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D.C., Hawaii Top the Rest of the Union in Economic Confidence
By News Release @ 6:24 PM :: 6041 Views :: Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics

D.C., Hawaii Top the Rest of the Union in Economic Confidence

Confidence up in most states in 2010, but unchanged in 16

by Lydia Saad Gallup.com

PRINCETON, NJ -- While no state exhibited strong economic confidence in 2010, the people of Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Iowa, and Maryland had the highest economic confidence. At the other end of the spectrum, residents of West Virginia, Idaho, and Rhode Island were the least confident.

Top 10 States, Gallup Economic Confidence Index, 2010Bottom 10 States, Gallup Economic Confidence Index, 2010

The Gallup Economic Confidence Index is a composite of two questions about the U.S. economy. One asks Americans to rate current economic conditions in the country -- as excellent, good, only fair, or poor. The other asks Americans whether they perceive that economic conditions are getting better or getting worse. The Index has a theoretical maximum of +100 (if all respondents rate the economy "excellent" or "good" and say it is improving) and a theoretical minimum of -100 (if all rate the economy "poor" and say it is getting worse).

Nationally, the Gallup Economic Index improved considerably over the past two years, increasing to -28 in 2010 from -35 in 2009 and -50 in 2008. However, it remains far below the strongly positive values recorded from the late 1990s through 2000.

The states with the highest economic confidence cluster in the center of country and, to a lesser degree, in the East. Several of these states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Hawaii, and Maryland) enjoy below-average unemployment rates. However, unemployment is not a perfect predictor of economic confidence, as several other states with relatively low unemployment (such as New Hampshire and Wyoming) have average or below-average confidence.

Confidence Up in Most States, but Particularly in Blue States

Between 2009 and 2010, economic confidence grew in 34 states plus the District of Columbia. The Gallup Economic Confidence Index increased in these states by at least 4 percentage points but by as much as 22 points. The Index was statistically unchanged in the remaining 16 states, all of which showed smaller increases or slight, but statistically insignificant, declines.

Explore complete state data >

Six of the 10 states with the biggest gains in economic confidence in 2010 also rank in the top 10 Democratic states for the year: Hawaii, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Connecticut.

Similarly, seven of the most Republican states -- South Dakota, New Hampshire, Idaho, Alaska, Utah, Montana, and Nebraska -- are among those showing no gains in economic confidence in 2010. As is the case for overall economic confidence, Rhode Island stands out as a state that does not follow expected partisan patterns, being the only top 10 Democratic state to show no improvement in confidence since 2009.

These political patterns in economic confidence trends among states were also evident in 2009, a finding Gallup credited at the time to the new Obama administration's boosting the economic outlook of Democrats and, conversely, discouraging that of Republicans.

Gallup Economic Confidence Index by State, 2008-2010, Ranked by 2009-2010 Change

Bottom Line

Although economic confidence improved in most states in 2010, the difference between the highest- and the lowest-confidence states remains a matter of degrees of economic pessimism, with only the District of Columbia showing net optimism. Furthermore, economic confidence rose by more than 10 points in only a handful of states, with residents in many of these possibly reacting positively to the president's leadership rather than to measurable economic gains.

D.C., Hawaii Top the Rest of the Union in Economic Confidence

Confidence up in most states in 2010, but unchanged in 16

by Lydia Saad

Page: 12

PRINCETON, NJ -- While no state exhibited strong economic confidence in 2010, the people of Washington, D.C., Hawaii, Iowa, and Maryland had the highest economic confidence. At the other end of the spectrum, residents of West Virginia, Idaho, and Rhode Island were the least confident.

Top 10 States, Gallup Economic Confidence Index, 2010Bottom 10 States, Gallup Economic Confidence Index, 2010

The Gallup Economic Confidence Index is a composite of two questions about the U.S. economy. One asks Americans to rate current economic conditions in the country -- as excellent, good, only fair, or poor. The other asks Americans whether they perceive that economic conditions are getting better or getting worse. The Index has a theoretical maximum of +100 (if all respondents rate the economy "excellent" or "good" and say it is improving) and a theoretical minimum of -100 (if all rate the economy "poor" and say it is getting worse).

Nationally, the Gallup Economic Index improved considerably over the past two years, increasing to -28 in 2010 from -35 in 2009 and -50 in 2008. However, it remains far below the strongly positive values recorded from the late 1990s through 2000.

The states with the highest economic confidence cluster in the center of country and, to a lesser degree, in the East. Several of these states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Hawaii, and Maryland) enjoy below-average unemployment rates. However, unemployment is not a perfect predictor of economic confidence, as several other states with relatively low unemployment (such as New Hampshire and Wyoming) have average or below-average confidence.

Confidence Up in Most States, but Particularly in Blue States

Between 2009 and 2010, economic confidence grew in 34 states plus the District of Columbia. The Gallup Economic Confidence Index increased in these states by at least 4 percentage points but by as much as 22 points. The Index was statistically unchanged in the remaining 16 states, all of which showed smaller increases or slight, but statistically insignificant, declines.

Explore complete state data >

Six of the 10 states with the biggest gains in economic confidence in 2010 also rank in the top 10 Democratic states for the year: Hawaii, the District of Columbia, Delaware, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Connecticut.

Similarly, seven of the most Republican states -- South Dakota, New Hampshire, Idaho, Alaska, Utah, Montana, and Nebraska -- are among those showing no gains in economic confidence in 2010. As is the case for overall economic confidence, Rhode Island stands out as a state that does not follow expected partisan patterns, being the only top 10 Democratic state to show no improvement in confidence since 2009.

These political patterns in economic confidence trends among states were also evident in 2009, a finding Gallup credited at the time to the new Obama administration's boosting the economic outlook of Democrats and, conversely, discouraging that of Republicans.

Gallup Economic Confidence Index by State, 2008-2010, Ranked by 2009-2010 Change

Bottom Line

Although economic confidence improved in most states in 2010, the difference between the highest- and the lowest-confidence states remains a matter of degrees of economic pessimism, with only the District of Columbia showing net optimism. Furthermore, economic confidence rose by more than 10 points in only a handful of states, with residents in many of these possibly reacting positively to the president's leadership rather than to measurable economic gains.

For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit www.gallup.com.

Gallup Economic Confidence Index, 2010 Results by State

 
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