According to a report recently released by WalletHub, Maine has the eighth weakest economy in the nation.
WalletHub looked at 28 “key indicators of economic performance and strength,” ranging from the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) to startup activity, to rank the economies of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia.
Maine’s economy is the weakest in New England, falling three states below Vermont, which had the 41st weakest economy in the nation. Massachusetts had the fourth strongest economy in the country and New Hampshire had the fifth strongest.
Maine earned an overall score of 35.37. Its economic activity was ranked at 36th, its economic health was ranked at 34th and its innovation potential was ranked at 42nd. The rankings in the study refer to the relative rank of each state, meaning a lower score represents better performance in that category and a higher score represents a weaker performance.
“We evaluated those dimensions using 28 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the highest economic performance,” the authors of the study noted.
For the category of economic activity, accounting for one-third of each state’s score, changes in GDP between 2020 and 2021 were given the most weight, quadruple that of metrics like gross public debt as a percentage of GDP, per capita exports and startup activity. The share of fast-growing firms in a state were also weighted triple.
The category of economic health, also worth a third of each state’s score, had a more complex weighting system. A state’s unemployment rate weighed the most heavily in the rating, which took into account more than a dozen other metrics.