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Tuesday, May 10, 2005

State Borrowing Blues

The AP reported that the state of New Jersey has climbed to number three among all 50 states when measured by total state debt. NJ has about $29 Billion in debt which equates to $2,900 per resident. In 1994, debt was $780 per resident.

So in eleven years, NJ debt has increased by 270% or 25% per year. NJ now trails only California and New York in total state debt and those states are far larger in terms of population. The AP story indicated NJ climbed over Massachusetts and Illinois (when compared to rankings from prior years) to reach this ignominious #3 ranking.

Have you noticed that, of the five states I mentioned, each is a "blue" state? That strikes me as siginficant. What are the odds of that - anyone help me out there? It's way too long ago that I took probability in college.

I am going to do some more reasearch and see if I can track down state debt for all 50 states (data above was from a Moody's Investors Services report acording to AP) and see if there is a patern of higher average debt per resident in the blue states.

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