Rankings 2014

alaska

Education:

38th

Economy:

27th

Safety:

49th

Environment:

7th

Health:

11th

Infrastructure:

15th

Government:

48th

Results Champion?: YES

Alaska is one of the most environmentally stable states, especially its air quality. It also is strong in the public health measures; especially for cost of healthcare, food insecurity, and infant mortality rate. While the state measures indicate Alaska has an independent, low tax, and fiscally stable government; it ranks 48th in government measures due to the relative size of its government, state debt and government spending. These numbers indicate a future of increasing tax burden, decreased services, or at the very least, reduced credit ratings.

Alaska’s economic outcomes are also a mixed bag. While the state has low poverty and a good rate of business growth; the state lags in economic growth rate, job growth, and venture capital investments. Education measures are mediocre, and K-8 math scores are 47th in the nation. Public safety overall is also poor, especially measures for rates of incarceration, violent crimes, and child maltreatment.

Recommendations
The state should focus their efforts on improving education and effectiveness of the government. These areas are where Alaska has the lowest overall rankings. State debt and pension liabilities are prime candidates for reform as well as a renewed focus on elementary school outcomes and high school graduation rates.

Alaska’s size and population density makes public safety improvement difficult. Therefore, this unique state requires a unique, state policy solution developed by the state itself to improve the state outcomes. Local knowledge of Alaska in this case is invaluable.