State Rankings

The 2019 Opportunity Index provides Opportunity Scores for all 50 states plus the District of Columbia and for nearly 2,065 counties, which together represent 97 percent of the U.S. population.

Overall United States Opportunity Score: 53.2

From 2018 to 2019, Opportunity scores increased in 26 states and the District of Columbia while they decreased in 24 states. As displayed in Figure 2, for 37 states, increases or decreases were less than 1, so these states were considered to have flat scores. Relative to their 2016 scores, 42 states improved while 8 states and the District of Columbia declined. In 2019, 25 states have scores below the U.S. Opportunity Score of 53.2, while 25 states and the District of Columbia have scores above the average.

This year’s state Opportunity scores were strongly correlated with each state’s performance in the Community (0.86), Health (0.83), and Economy (0.76) dimensions. The indicators most strongly correlated with state Opportunity scores were youth disconnection (0.88), poverty (0.82), incarceration (0.80), and post-secondary education (0.75). State Opportunity scores correlated weakly with income inequality (.25) and housing affordability (.22).

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