National survey ranks Idaho #22 best run state

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) -- A national survey by the website 24/7 Wall Street ranks Idaho about in the middle of all 50 states when it comes to how well -- or not -- each state is managed.

Idaho is ranked the 22nd best run state in the country.

North Dakota is at the top of the list; California, the bottom.

In its Idaho ranking, 24/7 Wall Street notes an estimated 16.5% of Idaho residents did not have health insurance last year, one of the higher rates in the country.

"This is particularly problematic in a state with one of the nation's highest doctor shortages," the website says. In 2010, Idaho had just 172.5 active patient care physicians per 100,000 residents, fewer than all but three states, according to 24/7 Wall Street.

Last year, the state made major cuts to its Medicaid program, the effect of which was compounded by the loss of matching funds from the federal government. Despite it's problems with health care, the survey says Idaho appears to budget conservatively. In fiscal 2011, it had a budget shortfall of only 3.5%, one of the smallest in the country.

For the first time, North Dakota ranks as the best run state in the country, according to the website.

In recent years, North Dakota's oil boom has transformed its economy. Last year, crude oil production rose 35%. As of August, 2012, it was the second-largest oil producer in the country.

24/7 Wall Street says this was due to the use of hydraulic fracturing in the state's Bakken shale formation. The oil and gas boom brought jobs to North Dakota, which had the nation's lowest unemployment rate in 2011 at 3.5%, and economic growth.

Between 2010 and 2011, North Dakota's GDP jumped 7.6%, by far the largest increase in the nation. This growth has also increased home values, which rose a nation-leading 29% between 2006 and 2011. North Dakota and Montana are the only two states that have not reported a budget shortfall since fiscal 2009.

California is 24/7 Wall St.'s "Worst Run State" for the second year in a row. Due to high levels of debt, the state's S&P credit rating is the worst of all states, while its Moody's credit rating is the second-worst. Much of California's fiscal woes involve the economic downturn. Home prices plunged by 33.6% between 2006 and 2011, worse than all states except for three. The state's foreclosure rate and unemployment rate were the third- and second-highest in the country, respectively.

But efforts to get finances on track are moving forward, according to the website. State voters passed a ballot initiative to raise sales taxes as well as income taxes for people who make at least $250,000 a year. While median income is the 10th-highest in the country, the state also has one of the highest tax burdens on income. According to the Tax Foundation, the state also has the third-worst business tax climate in the country.

Read more: The Best and Worst Run States in America: A Survey of All 50 - 24/7 Wall St.