Over the last two years, we've seen inflation rise and a lot of talk about a recession. But, with U.S. economic growth depending heavily on individual states, how well is Idaho when it comes to the best and worst state economies? 

WalletHub released their 2023's Best & Worst State Economies list, and Idaho is sitting pretty towards the top. To determine which states are pulling their weight, they compared 50 states and the District of Columbia across 28 economic performance and strength indicators. 

We are only going to focus on three of those indicators. 

We will focus on Economic Activity, Economic Health, and Innovation potential. Innovation potential includes things like the share of jobs in high-tech industries, independent inventor patents, entrepreneurial activity, and more. 

As part of their research, they also included several different experts in the industry and asked them five key questions. Those questions were: 

  1. What are the most effective ways for state and local officials to help their local economies? 
  2. How can states prevent "brain drain" and develop, attract, and retain highly skilled workers? 
  3. States often compete for business investment by offering tax breaks and other incentives. Do such efforts more often result in a net positive or net negative impact on state economies? Do such efforts create a "race to the bottom" across states?
  4. What are the top five indicators in evaluating the states with the best economies?
  5. Where is the economy heading in 2023?

As part of their research, Idaho had the highest change in GDP, followed by Tennessee, Florida, Nevada, and Texas, while Alaska had the lowest difference. 

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