UTAH (ABC4) – As a country, citizens have been put through challenges these past few years. 

To cope with obstacles, citizens found support in various ways, whether through government financial aid or perhaps even personal vices such as alcohol and other stimulants to curb stress. 

A new study by Wallethub took a look at the states that remained the most independent throughout the past year. The study defines “independence” as being self-reliant among five sources of dependency — consumer finances, the government, the job market, international trade and personal vices.

Among the key factors of dependency, Utah was ranked the most independent state in the nation in 2022.

The most independent states in the U.S. in 2022:

  1. Utah
  2. Colorado
  3. Massachusetts
  4. Virginia
  5. Nebraska
  6. Florida
  7. Idaho
  8. Wisconsin
  9. Washinton
  10. Delaware

Looking closer at data tracking Utah’s independence includes:

  • Lowest unemployment rate
    • Utah – 1st
  • Lowest percent of Adult Binge Drinkers
    • Utah – 1st
  • Percent of Households with Rainy-Day & Emergency Funds
    • Utah – 2nd
  • Highest Median Household Income (Adjusted by Cost of Living)
    • Utah – 2nd
  • Lowest percent of Households Receiving Public Assistance & SNAP/Food Stamps
    • Utah – 2nd
  • Least Federally Dependent
    • Utah – 4th

The study’s methodology compared 50 U.S. states across five key dimensions — Financial Dependency, Government Dependency, Job-Market Dependency, International-Trade Dependency and Vice Dependency.

Data was found through a variety of sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Gallup, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis and much more.

How Utah ranks across the five key metrics:

  • Job Market Dependency – 1st
  • Government dependency – 2nd
  • Vice Dependency – 4th
  • Financial independence – 18th
  • International-Trade Dependency – 19th

Financial dependency includes median credit score, median debt per income, homeownership rate, rainy-day funds, bankruptcy rate and more.

Government dependency includes share of households receiving public assistance and SNAP/food stamps, share of occupied subsidized housing units, federal dependence and more.

Job market dependency includes job growth rate, industry variety, unemployment rate, job creation and more.

International-Trade Dependency includes the number of jobs supported by exported goods, share of private-industry employment at foreign-owned firms, share of state GDP generated by exports to other countries.

Vice dependency includes the number of adult drinkers, drug users, smokers, gambling disorders, social network users, adult entertainment sites and more.

To check out the full study on the least and most dependent states in 2022, click here.