Minnesota has the best economy in the Great Lakes. It has a 2012 per capita income of $46,227, $8,730 more than Michigan, and a 2013 unemployment rate of 5.1 percent, well under Michigan's rate of 9.1.
Michigan Future, Inc. asked top state business reporter Rick Haglund to investigate the policies Minnesota has pursued to grow its economy. The results are the topic of his new report: "State Policies Matter: How Minnesota's tax, spending and social policies help it achieve the best economy among Great Lake States."
The report examines policies of two states that looked much alike in 1990, when Minnesota's per capita income was just $555 more than Michigan. The report shows how Minnesota has made major investments in education and urban communities, embraced regional government, and supported policies that make the state more welcome and open to all.
"For decades, Minnesota, under Democratic, Republican and Independent Governors, has rejected the idea that low taxes are the key to a prosperous economy," said Michigan Future President Lou Glazer. "Its alternative has been to focus on making investments needed to educate citizens and create a welcoming and great place to live and work.
The link to the study by Michigan Future is here.
Here is the chart from the BEA release: