Here are the 19 US states that are in the best fiscal position for a recession
  • The novel coronavirus has caused many businesses to shutter, several cities to be placed on lockdown, and a record-shattering number of Americans to file for unemployment.
  • Business Insider looked into which states are most prepared for a possible recession, which seems increasingly likely amid the chaos surrounding the pandemic.
  • We used state government data from the US Census to rank the states’ fiscal positions based on their government debt and holdings of liquid assets.
  • Alaska, Wyoming, and North Dakota were at the top of our list.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

It seems a recession is drawing near due to the novel coronavirus and the drastic measures taken to slow the spread of the new disease. Some states might be more prepared to handle the financial burden than others. 

Many businesses have had to temporarily close or lay off workers. A record-shattering 3.3 million Americans filed for unemployment benefits in the week ending on March 21 according to a new report by the US Department of Labor. Different industries are already taking a hit as people cancel flights and are told to stay at home.  

State governments could begin to feel economic pain soon as well. Personal income tax and sales tax contribute the most to a state’s revenue, and those sources will be affected by a decrease in consumer spending and increase in job layoffs, according to a report from The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Pew suggests states will have to use their “rainy day funds” or request more federal aid to fix budget gaps amidst the coronavirus outbreak.

Pew notes in their analysis of the fiscal position of states that across the nation, there have been “record amounts in both rainy day funds and total balances”, which could come in handy during a recession.

To get a sense of which states are most ready for hard economic times, we used state government finance data from the US Census Bureau for the 2018 fiscal year, the most recent available. We ranked the states based on the difference between government holdings of liquid assets (specifically, cash and securities) and total government debt at the end of the fiscal year, adjusted by 2018 estimated state populations.

Alaska, Wyoming, and North Dakota ranked at the top of the list because of their state’s large cash and security holdings compared to their debt. According to Pew’s analysis, these are the only three states that have “more than 100 days’ worth of operating costs.”

The following are the 19 states that are in the best fiscal position for a potential recession, along with various state government finance figures.

19. Minnesota

Minneapolis Minnesota



Walter Bibikow/Getty Images


Total cash and security holdings: $59.7 billion

Total debt: $16.6 billion

Total revenue: $56.3 billion

Total expenditure: $49.6 billion

18. Vermont

Vermont main street



John Greim/LightRocket via Getty


Total cash and security holdings: $8.7 billion

Total debt: $3.6 billion

Total revenue: $7.0 billion

Total expenditure: $7.1 billion 

17. Texas

Dallas Texas



Nathanael Hovee / EyeEm/Getty Images


Total cash and security holdings: $289.9 billion

Total debt: $51.5 billion

Total revenue: $171.8 billion

Total expenditure: $150.9 billion

16. New York

new york city



Atanas Bezov/Shutterstock


Total cash and security holdings: $311.6 billion

Total debt: $148.0 billion 

Total revenue: $223.5 billion

Total expenditure: $213.2 billion 

15. Wisconsin

Milwaukee Wisconsin



Henryk Sadura/Getty Images


Total cash and security holdings: $71.7 billion 

Total debt: $22.8 billion

Total revenue: $54.5 billion

Total expenditure: $42.2 billion

14. Hawaii

Hawaii



M Swiet Productions/Getty Images


Total cash and security holdings: $22.0 billion

Total debt: $9.9 billion 

Total revenue: $16.2 billion

Total expenditure: $13.7 billion

13. California

los angeles



View Apart/Shutterstock


Total cash and security holdings: $493.0 billion

Total debt: $148.0 billion

Total revenue: $412.4 billion

Total expenditure: $375.1 billion

12. Idaho

Idaho



Darwin Fan/Getty Images


Total cash and security holdings: $19.7 billion

Total debt: $3.4 billion

Total revenue: $12.0 billion

Total expenditure: $10.4 billion

11. Virginia

Richmond Virginia



Sky Noir Photography by Bill Dickinson/Getty Images


Total cash and security holdings: $112.1 billion 

Total debt: $29.1 billion

Total revenue: $62.6 billion

Total expenditure: $56.4 billion

10. Ohio

Ohio




aceshot1/Shutterstock



Total cash and security holdings: $150.6 billion

Total debt: $31.6 billion

Total revenue: $101.0 billion

Total expenditure: $89.0 billion

9. Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska



Shannon Ramos / EyeEm/Getty Images


Total cash and security holdings: $22.2 billion 

Total debt: $2.1 billion

Total revenue: $12.3 billion

Total expenditure: $11.1 billion

8. Maine

Acadia national Park Maine



Peter Unger/Getty Images


Total cash and security holdings: $21.3 billion

Total debt: $4.8 billion

Total revenue: $10.7 billion

Total expenditure: $9.2 billion

7. Oregon

Portland Oregon



© Allard Schager/Getty Images


Total cash and security holdings: $76.7 billion 

Total debt: $14.3 billion

Total revenue: $43.9 billion

Total expenditure: $39.4 billion

6. South Dakota

South Dakota



Carolyn Hebbard/ Getty Images


Total cash and security holdings: $18.2 billion

Total debt: $3.7 billion

Total revenue: $5.6 billion

Total expenditure: $5.2 billion

5. Montana

Montana



Virginia Collins / EyeEm/Getty Images


Total cash and security holdings: $20.5 billion

Total debt: $2.7 billion

Total revenue: $9.2 billion

Total expenditure: $7.8 billion

4. New Mexico

New Mexico




Jimack/Shutterstock



Total cash and security holdings: $43.0 billion

Total debt: $7.3 billion

Total revenue: $21.0 billion

Total expenditure: $21.5 billion

3. North Dakota

North Dakota



David Harmantas/Shutterstock


Total cash and security holdings:  $36.3 billion  

Total debt:  $3.0 billion

Total revenue: $8.9 billion

Total expenditure: $7.2 billion

2. Wyoming

Wyoming



Jeff R Clow/Getty Images


Total cash and security holdings: $29.3 billion

Total debt:  $832.4 million

Total revenue: $7.5 billion

Total expenditure: $6.2 billion

1. Alaska

Anchorage Alaska



Blue Poppy/Getty Images


Total cash and security holdings: $89.0 billion  

Total debt: $5.9 billion

Total revenue: $9.9 billion

Total expenditure: $12.0 billion

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