Movin’ on Up

When discussing New Mexico’s economic position relative to other states, we at the Rio Grande Foundation often cite per capita personal income as a measuring stick. That’s because this statistic is the single best way to rank the economic strength among the states.
With that said, there is some good news relative to New Mexico’s economic standing in recent years. According to new federal data, since 2003 (not coincidentally the year New Mexico’s personal income and capital gains tax rate cuts began), New Mexico’s national ranking has improved to 43rd from 47th with New Mexico leaping over Kentucky, South Carolina, Utah, and Idaho.
Sure, strong growth in oil and gas prices played a big part in this improvement, but note that Alaska’s ranking, another state with a major oil and gas industry, changed very little over the same time period and has certainly not seen New Mexico’s consistent improvement in recent years.