Strong Dollar graphic

While Louisiana ranks at or near the bottom on most national surveys, its ranks in the top 10, in a five-way tie for tenth place, in purchasing power among the 50 states.

The state can thank the current status of the U.S. dollar as one of the strongest currencies in the world, and its status as one of the poorest states in the Union, for its strong showing in this survey.

The survey was done by 24/7 Wall St. based on statistics from the Bureau of Economic Analysis. It calculated the value of the dollar in each state based on that data.

Among the factors taken into consideration were regional price parity, per capita income data and median home values.

They found that the value of the dollar in Louisiana is $1.11 (14th highest, in a five-way tie); personal income per capita: $45.542 (11th lowest); income adjusted by cost of living: $45,363 (19th lowest); and median home value: $162,500 (15th lowest).

Those figures placed Louisiana in a tie for 10th place with Indiana, Iowa, South Carolina and Tennessee (which makes them all 14th highest).

Not surprisingly, the dollar goes the furthest in America’s poorest states, where goods and services are not as expensive in order to get the business of relatively low-income residents.

Conversely, the highest income states and cities generally have less buying power per dollar because of the wealth and per capita buying power in those places.

Mississippi has the highest dollar value at $1.16; Alabama and Arkansas tied for second at $1.15; Kentucky and West Virginia, third, $1.14; South Dakota, sixth; $1.13; and Missouri, Ohio and Oklahoma, seventh, $1.12.

The five states where the dollar has the least buying power are Maryland, 46, $0.91; New Jersey, $0.88; California and New York, tied for 48th; and at rock bottom is Hawaii, 50th, at $0.84.

Our next door neighbor, Texas, was in a tie for 26th place with Minnesota, Nevada, Wyoming and Utah where the dollar has a buying power of $1.03. The personal income per capita in Texas is $49,161; adjusted by cost of living, $45,823; and the median home value is $172,200.

It is interesting to note that the strong dollar puts Louisiana on a near income per capita basis with Texas, when adjusted by cost of living.

Louisiana has some advantages over other states economically, even if it is because we’re one of the poorest states.

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