Friday, January 15, 2016

Rural residents typically more financially responsible than urban ones, says credit report

Rural residents are generally more financially responsible than urban ones, says a study by that ranks all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The most financially responsible state is Montana, while the least financially responsible is Maryland. Following Montana are South Dakota, North Dakota, Maine, Vermont, Nebraska and Iowa. Following Maryland as the least financially responsible are: Washington, D.C. (No. 50), Arkansas (49), Virginia (48), Texas (47) and Nevada (46).

Researchers say the most financially responsible states shared a common trait of having a mostly rural demographic profile that lacks major cities, Fred Williams reports for Creditcards. John Rogers, chief business development officer at the Montana Office of Economic Development, told Williams, "We do have a population that is pretty conservative about their personal finances. I think it's a cultural thing . . . also probably a more rural thing."

Williams writes, "To measure money management ability, compared consumers' average credit scores, from the credit bureau Experian, to their median household income, per the U.S. Census. We then ranked the states by differences between the two: The top states had credit scores much higher than their income. In the middle, credit scores about match income rank. Poor performers had high income but relatively low credit scores. Differences in state job markets and the age of their population influenced their scores but didn't explain all the variations in money management ability." (To see the interactive map, click here)

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