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Reliance on foreign investment makes Indiana one of the most dependent states

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(The Center Square) – Thanks in large part to one particular category, a study released earlier this week identified Indiana as one of the nation’s 10 least independent states.

The Hoosier State came in 43rd in WalletHub’s report on the Most and Least Independent States. That was the same ranking it received in the personal finance site’s review last year as well.

The study measured each state based on 39 statistics that determined scores in five categories. Indiana finished 15th in job-market variety, 30th in vice dependency, 31st in public-sector dependency and 35th in financial dependency. However, the state came in 46th, fifth-worst, in international trade dependency.

The international trade category was based on three metrics. Indiana ranked 42nd with 5.4% of the state’s jobs supported by exported goods; 47th in the share of private-sector workers, 7%, employed by foreign-based companies; and 46th nationally as nearly 14% of the state’s gross domestic product relies on exports.

Courting foreign investment has been a priority of Gov. Eric Holcomb. In his final year in office, Holcomb has already made three international trips to promote the state for business attraction and expansion opportunities. The most recent trip occurred earlier this month when he and state Secretary of Commerce David Rosenberg led a delegation to Belgium, France and the Netherlands. The trip included talks with leaders from the semiconductor and energy sectors.

Last month, the state welcomed about 800 representatives from more than 30 countries who participated in the Indiana Global Economic Summit. Discussions centered on artificial intelligence, national security, integrated health and sports technology.

“The work we do this week at the second Indiana Global Economic Summit tees up years of productivity ahead,” the governor said in a statement before the summit. “Together, with our home and away partners, we’re building the future economy and creating a better, more prosperous life for Hoosiers and all that we do business with.”

Indiana’s best category was the share of its workers who have public-sector jobs. Only 11.3% hold federal, state or municipal positions, the third-best rate in the country. The state also ranked seventh in the percentage of households on public assistance programs, and 70.9% of Hoosier adults maintained rainy-day accounts, the 10th-best rate nationally.

While Hoosiers scored some points for frugality, the study still pointed out some personal finance concerns. Indiana’s median debt per income of 55.4% was the sixth worst in the report. The state also ranked 43rd and 44th in foreclosures and bankruptcies. The state also came in 42nd in both the rate of opioids dispensed and the percentage of adults who smoke.

Of Indiana’s neighboring states, Ohio was the most independent, but it still ranked 32nd. Michigan finished 35th and Illinois 38th. Kentucky came in 49th overall.

Only Louisiana was more dependent than Kentucky, according to the WalletHub report. The most independent state was Utah, followed by Colorado, Florida, Wisconsin and Vermont.

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