Auditor report studies Missouri in comparison to the country

From the Missouri Times

State Auditor Nicole Galloway released a report this week detailing Missouri’s performance compared to other states in six key areas: economy, education, civic involvement, health, crime and transportation.

Data for the report was collected by the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs’ Institute of Public Policy at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

“Many policymakers have found that monitoring performance indicators can provide valuable information regarding policy development, as well as government action,” Galloway wrote in a letter to Gov. Jay Nixon and the legislature at the beginning of the report. “Similar reports conducted elsewhere have been helpful in providing a snapshot as to where states are positioned in relation to each other in critical areas dealing with the economy, health, crime, education, transportation, and civic involvement.”

Economy

To look at Missouri’s economy, the report compared Missouri to the other states on seven measures: household median income, job growth rate, unemployment rate, state and local tax revenue as a percentage of personal income, state cigarette tax, percent of population in poverty and percent of children in poverty.

  • Household median income: Missouri ranked 36th in the nation in 2014 with a median income of $48,363, less than the national average of $53,657. The national median income rose in 2013 and 2014, from $51,371 in 2012. Maryland ranked first with a median income of $73,971.
  • Job growth rate: Between 2013 and 2014, Missouri saw a 2.6 percent job growth rate, good for 22nd in the nation, above the national average of 2.1 percent. Like the national average, Missouri’s job growth rate has increased over the last three years measured, from -0.1 percent between 2011 and 2012, when Missouri was 48th in the nation.
  • Unemployment rate: Missouri was 19th in the nation in 2015 with a 4.4 percent unemployment rate, below the national average of 5 percent. The rate dropped in Missouri from 6.7 percent in 2013.
  • State and local tax revenue as a percentage of personal income: Missouri ranked 48th in the nation with just 7.55 percent of personal income going to state and local tax revenue in 2013.
  • State cigarette tax: Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the country, $0.17. The national average is $1.53.
  • Percentage of population in poverty: With 15.5 percent of the populaiton in poverty, Missouri sits at the national average and ranked 30th in the country in 2014. Despite improving from 16.2 percent in 2012, Missouri’s ranking fell from 27th.
  • Percent of children in poverty: In 2014, 21.1 percent of Missouri’s children lived in poverty, lower than the national average of 27.7. Missouri ranked 28th in the nation.

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