9 Most Bankrupt States In America: Is Yours On The List?

July 20, 2016

A new report shows that the California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) received less than one percent on its investment, putting the country's biggest pension fund at a stunning $100 billion shortfall.

Not surprisingly, California is ranked among the top nine in the states with the worst fiscal condition by the Mercatus Center, as of June 1. Here are each of the states that made the top nine in their rankings:

1. Connecticut:

  • $20.88 billion in total debt.
  • $102.84 billion in unfunded liabilities and other retirement benefits.
  • $505 in deficit per capita.

2. Massachusetts:

  • $26.73 billion in total debt.
  • $190.83 billion in in unfunded liabilities and other retirement benefits.
  • $342 in deficit per capita.

3. New Jersey:

  • $41.84 billion in total debt.
  • $255.2 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and other retirement benefits.
  • $396 in deficit per capita.

4. Illinois:

  • $35.5 billion in total debt.
  • $332.54 billion in unfunded pension liabilities and other retirement benefits.
  • $40 in deficit per capita.

5. Kentucky:

  • $8.23 billion in total debt.
  • $82.68 billion in unfunded liabilities and other retirement benefits.
  • $100 in deficit per capita.

6. Hawaii:

  • $7.78 billion in total debt.
  • $39.92 billion in unfunded liabilities and other retirement benefits.
  • $83 in deficit per capita.

7. California:

  • $118.7 billion in total debt.
  • $785.72 billion in unfunded liabilities and other retirement benefits.
  • $250 in surplus per capita.

8. Maine:

  • $1.2 billion in total debt.
  • $15.2 billion in unfunded liabilities and other retirement benefits.
  • $20 in deficit per capita.

9. New York:

  • $58.32 billion in total debt.
  • $349.81 billion in unfunded liabilities and other retirement benefits.
  • $125 in surplus per capita.

The key takeaway from the Mercatus Center's list is that the vast majority of the states in poor fiscal health are blue states, demonstrating yet again how lavish government spending is unsustainable and economically unviable in the long run. The dismal return on CalPERS's investments are particularly reflective of that common sense economic reality.

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