Rankings 2014

idaho

Education:

13th

Economy:

31st

Safety:

17th

Environment:

2nd

Health:

22nd

Infrastructure:

14th

Government:

30th

Results Champion?: NO

Idaho has excellent environmental measures and above average education and infrastructure as well. The state leads in renewable energy generated per capita and receives high marks in air quality and carbon emissions as well. For public safety, the state has notably positive outcomes in all crime measures as well as rate of affordable housing. Economically, Idaho is business friendly, has a relatively equal income distribution, and reduced poverty. The state also has a fiscally sound government with low levels of debt, well funded pension system and small government.

While Idaho’s education numbers are relatively high, the state has a comparatively small number of advanced degree holders. This is probably due to the types of industries prevalent in the state. Economically, the state has a small economy, one which is ranked 45th in growth rate and 43rd in job growth. Worse still is a ranking of 50th in new firm creation. Despite high business competitiveness, new entrepreneurs don’t seem to flock to Idaho. Cost of Healthcare is also high as well as rates of workplace injury. Finally, the government has received poor reviews from PIRG and the Center of Digital government for their financial transparency and use of technology, respectively.

Recommendations
The state’s worst performing area overall is the economy. Economic growth is the primary reason for this. Any policies which encourage new economic activity should be considered to improve these outcomes. Reducing cost of healthcare, implementing new standards for workplace safety, and adopting technology-based government solutions to the transparency issue, such as open data portals or improved web content on official sites, would improve the government scores as well.