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NJ ranks 48th among states for fiscal health, report finds

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New Jersey came in at No. 48 in the 2018 Mercatus Center rankings.
New Jersey came in at No. 48 in the 2018 Mercatus Center rankings. - ()

New Jersey is the third-least financially healthy state in the U.S., according to George Mason University’s Mercatus Center rankings, released Tuesday.

If it’s any consolation, the Garden State does show an improvement over last year’s rankings, when it placed dead last.

The New Jersey report, authored by Vice President of Policy Research Eileen Norcross and Research Associate Olivia Gonzalez, looked at a decade’s worth of New Jersey’s own audited financial records to determine the state’s fiscal health.

The report’s 10-year overlook also concluded the total unfunded pension liabilities guaranteed by the state work out to 49 percent of New Jersey’s person income.


New Jersey’s highest ranking in the data set, at No. 20, came for its service-level solvency, or the comparison of taxes, revenues and spending against personal income.

The state ranked 38th for its amount of debt, or trust fund solvency. According to the report, New Jersey revenues only cover 89 percent of expenses and long-term liabilities.

The remaining key points of the study found New Jersey ranked 30th for cash solvency; 49th for budget solvency; and 50th for long-run solvency, which measures whether the state’s assets can protect it from shocks or long-term financial risk.

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Jessica Perry

Jessica Perry

Jessica is the Web Editor for NJBIZ. You can reach her at jperry@njbiz.com.

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