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Website: Utah No. 2 for financial literacy

Published April 22, 2014 2:09 pm

Studies • Beehive State ranked No. 9 for best return on taxes paid.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah is a the second most financially literate state in the nation. It also receives the ninth best return on investment from the government for taxes that residents pay.

That's according to two separate studies released this week by the personal finance website WalletHub, which has been doing a series of studies analyzing the U.S. tax landscape.

One study ranked Utah as the second most financially literate state behind only New Hampshire, and just ahead of Virginia and New Jersey. The least financially literate state in the study was Mississippi.

It looked at numerous other criteria and studies to compile that grade.

For example, it said Utah ranks No. 1 in high-school financial literacy grades figured by Champlain University, No. 1 in the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Financial Literacy Survey, No. 8 in the percentage of people with a rainy day fund, and No. 10 in the percentage of people with a bachelor's degree.

Utah also was No. 11 in the percentage of people borrowing from non-bank lenders, No. 16 for its high-school dropout rate and No. 19 for the percentage of people who spend more than they make.

The other study used 27 measures to figure which states give residents the best return on the taxes they pay — based on the quality of government services — ranking Utah No. 9 overall.

The top ranking states were Wyoming, Alaska and South Dakota. The bottom ranking states were Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.

In that study, Utah ranked No. 2 for best economy, No. 5 for overall health of residents, No. 7 for safety, No. 10 for the condition of its infrastructure, No. 14 for tax rates, No. 20 for pollution and No. 39 for education.