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Study: Arizona among the worst-run states in US

A recent Harvard study showed that Arizona was the most corrupt in the nation.

Around the same time, 24/7 Wall St. surveyed how well states were run financially and Arizona again turned in poor results.

According to the report, Arizona ranks 45th in the U.S. in its financial management.

Specifically, the survey looks at the following criteria: debt per capita, credit rating, unemployment rate, median household income and poverty rate.

And while Arizona ranks well in debt per capita, with the 11th lowest in the country, its below-average credit rating and high unemployment and poverty rates harm results.

Arizona’s unemployment rate in 2013 was 8 percent — the 12th highest in the nation. Its 18.6 percent poverty rate was similarly high, at No. 9. Meanwhile, the median household income in the state ($48,510) came in below average as well, as the 21st lowest.

Few states received lower credit ratings than Arizona from the two largest rating agencies, S&P and Moody’s. S&P awarded the state a rating of AA-, while Moody’s rates Arizona an Aa3 on its scale, both worse than most states. However, Moody’s recently upgraded the state’s outlook on improved fund balances, as well as low debt and net pension liabilities. Additionally, as with Florida, Arizona is in the midst of a housing market recovery after a brutal downturn during the recession. Last year, home values in the state rose 9.2% from the year before, better than all states except for Nevada. Despite this, the median home value was still down by nearly 12% between 2009 and 2013, by comparison, the U.S. median home value fell 6% in that time.