Nebraska tops list for ‘best’ state debt


Nebraska State Capitol in Lincoln, Neb. Photo courtesy of Flickr user TexasExplorer98

The state of Nebraska is the best in the nation at managing its financial obligations, according to a report cited in The Des Moines Register Wednesday.

Barron’s financial weekly — in partnership with the investment management firm Eaton Vance Corp. — ranked states based on their debt levels and pension obligations. Iowa came in second on the list, followed by North Dakota and South Carolina. Connecticut has the worst debt, falling just below Illinois, Hawaii, and Alaska. “We believe in a fundamental financial principle that they’ve never heard of in Washington,” Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman told Barron’s, according to the Register. “We don’t spend money we don’t have. It keeps you out of trouble every day.”

Despite the seemingly rocky financial situations in places like Detroit — and the debt-limit crisis at the national level — Barron’s reports state and local governments have generally manageable financial obligations when measured against revenue, personal income, and the size of state economies.