December 7, 2015

Here’s why NM is ranked as the worst-run state in the U.S.

If you’ve been reading 24/7 Wall St. recently, you’ll note that it doesn’t have much good to say about New Mexico.

iStock_000011782228_MediumThe New York financial news website is getting a lot of local attention for ranking New Mexico at the bottom of its annual Best and Worst Run States in America survey. But just how did the news organization come to its conclusions?

Four researchers spent roughly four months gathering data to make the list, according to 24/7 Wall St. Editor Douglas McIntyre.

“The idea is to try to improve, if we can, government at the state level,” he said in a phone interview Monday afternoon.

From the ranking, New Mexico could use improving.

The website lists 11 factors that went into the annual rankings. The factors include net migration statistics, unemployment and jobless data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the number of foreclosed homes from RealTrac.

Poverty and health insurance levels are gathered from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey. Each state’s rainy day fund is measured as a percentage of its general fund payments.

Unemployment and jobless rates are also scrutinized.

The result doesn’t make New Mexico look good. But McIntyre said he hopes the list will give low-ranking states benchmarks for ways to get better.

Financial World, where McIntyre used to serve as publisher, started conducting a similar study in 1993. The magazine went belly-up in 1998 after nearly a century of publishing.

New Mexico has made other unflattering appearances in lists compiled by 24/7 Wall St., most recently as the second worst state in the nation for violent crime. That ranking came from data from the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report.

Last year, New Mexico ranked 49th, behind every state except Illinois. In 2010, when 24/7 Wall St. began compiling the list, New Mexico ranked 37.