JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State Auditor Nicole Galloway released a report Monday morning detailing Missouri’s performance compared to other states in six key areas: economy, education, civic involvement, health, crime and transportation.
Data for the report was collected by the Harry S. Truman School of Public Affairs’ Institute of Public Policy at the University of Missouri-Columbia.
“Many policymakers have found that monitoring performance indicators can provide valuable information regarding policy development, as well as government action,” Galloway wrote in a letter to Gov. Jay Nixon and the legislature at the beginning of the report. “Similar reports conducted elsewhere have been helpful in providing a snapshot as to where states are positioned in relation to each other in critical areas dealing with the economy, health, crime, education, transportation, and civic involvement.”
To look at Missouri’s economy, the report compared Missouri to the other states on seven measures: household median income, job growth rate, unemployment rate, state and local tax revenue as a percentage of personal income, state cigarette tax, percent of population in poverty and percent of children in poverty.
- Household median income: Missouri ranked 36th in the nation in 2014 with a median income of $48,363, less than the national average of $53,657. The national median income rose in 2013 and 2014, from $51,371 in 2012. Maryland ranked first with a median income of $73,971.
- Job growth rate: Between 2013 and 2014, Missouri saw a 2.6 percent job growth rate, good for 22nd in the nation, above the national average of 2.1 percent. Like the national average, Missouri’s job growth rate has increased over the last three years measured, from -0.1 percent between 2011 and 2012, when Missouri was 48th in the nation.
- Unemployment rate: Missouri was 19th in the nation in 2015 with a 4.4 percent unemployment rate, below the national average of 5 percent. The rate dropped in Missouri from 6.7 percent in 2013.
- State and local tax revenue as a percentage of personal income: Missouri ranked 48th in the nation with just 7.55 percent of personal income going to state and local tax revenue in 2013.
- State cigarette tax: Missouri has the lowest cigarette tax in the country, $0.17. The national average is $1.53.
- Percentage of population in poverty: With 15.5 percent of the populaiton in poverty, Missouri sits at the national average and ranked 30th in the country in 2014. Despite improving from 16.2 percent in 2012, Missouri’s ranking fell from 27th.
- Percent of children in poverty: In 2014, 21.1 percent of Missouri’s children lived in poverty, lower than the national average of 27.7. Missouri ranked 28th in the nation.
For education, the auditor’s office looked at four areas of data: National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) scores, ACT average score, percent of population with a high school diploma and percent of population with a bachelor’s degree.
- NAEP scores: In 2015 Missouri’s 4th graders average a 223 on the reading test, in line with the national average. Their 239 score in math was one point below the national average. Eighth graders scored a 267 in reading, two points above the national average and 281 in math, one below the national average.
- ACT average score: Missourians scored 21.7 on average in 2015, 23rd in the nation and above the national average of 21.0.
- Percent of population with a high school diploma: In 2014, 88.9 percent of Missourians had a high school diploma, 28th in the country and above the average of 86.9 percent.
- Percent of population with a bachelor’s degree: 27.5 percent of Missourians had a bachelor’s degree in 2014, below the national average of 30.1 percent.
To measure civic involvement, the report looked at 2012 presidential election turnout and 2014 mid-term election turnout.
- 2012 presidential election turnout: Missouri’s 62.2 percent turnout rate was 18th in the country in 2012 and down 6 percentage points from 2008.
- 2014 mid-term election turnout: Missouri’s 33.6 percent voter turnout was 38th in the nation, down 5.1 percentage points from 2010.
The report looked at four measures to test public health: percent of population who are adult smokers, percent of population who are overweight or obese, teen birth rate and percent of population without health insurance.
- Percent of Population who are Adult Smokers: 20.6 percent of Missouri adults were smokers in 2014, 38th in the nation and above the national average of 18.5 percent. The rate fell 3.3 percentage points since 2012.
- Percent of Population who are Overweight or Obese: Missouri ranked 28th in the nation with 65.8 percent of the population overweight or obese according to the CDC, above the national average of 64.1 percent.
- Teen Birth Rate: Missouri, with a teen birth rate of 27.2 in 2014, ranked 32nd in the nation. The national average was 24.2.
- Percent of Population without Health Insurance: Missouri ranked 29th in the country with 11.7 percent of the population without health insurance, the same as the national average.
To study crime, the report cited violent crime rate and property crime rate.
- Violent crime rate: Missouri’s violent crime rate was 442.9 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2014, 40th in the nation and above the national average of 375.7.
- Property crime rate: Missouri’s property crime rate was 2,906.5 per 100,000 inhabitants in 2014, 35th in the nation and above the national average of 2,596.1.
The report cited three statistics when looking at transportation: state gas tax, percent of roads in mediocre or poor condition and percent of bridges that are deficient or functionally obsolete.
- State gas tax: In 2016, Missouri’s gas tax of 17.3 cents per gallon is 44th in the nation, below the national average of 25.3.
- Percent of roads in mediocre or poor condition: According to the Department of Transportation, Missouri ranked 27th in the nation with 19.6 percent of its roads in mediocre or poor condition. That was at the national average.
- Percent of bridges that are deficient or functionally obsolete: According to the Department of Transportation, Missouri ranked 33rd in the nation with 26.5 percent of its roads in mediocre or poor condition. That was above national average of 26.0.
Read the full report here.