FILE - Chicago Board of Trade. 2014

This July 8, 2014 photo shows the Chicago Board of Trade building in downtown Chicago.

(The Center Square) – Illinois is the 21st most prosperous state in the country.

The 2021 United States Prosperity Index is a comprehensive assessment of all aspects of prosperity, including safety and security, business environment, health and living conditions.

Illinois scored well in infrastructure but fared poorly in economic quality and safety and security. The state’s score was hurt by a rash of violent crime, especially in Chicago.

Shaun Flanagan, director of Impact and Partnerships at the Legatum Institute, said state governments can use the information to address weaknesses.

“Potentially a rich source of information to inform the American Rescue Plan and the money made available through that as well and help guide states as to where they may want to invest some of that money to strengthen certain aspects of prosperity,” Flanagan said.

Massachusetts, Connecticut and Minnesota ranked first, second and third as the most prosperous states. Mississippi was ranked as the least prosperous state.

Illinois’ neighbors include Wisconsin at 10th, Iowa is ranked 13th, Indiana is 35th, Missouri is ranked 38th and Kentucky is 43rd.

The report highlights that the U.S. ranks 18th out of 167 nations worldwide for prosperity, having increased its prosperity year on year prior to the pandemic.

“It ranks 66th for safety and security and 59th overall for health,” Flanagan said. “Those two, in particular, that sort of pulled the U.S. down in the rankings to 18th overall.”

The report states that U.S. prosperity had been rising continuously for more than a decade, as a result of long-term improvements in many areas. Increasing productivity and competitiveness, a more educated adult population, reductions in smoking and drinking, and lower levels of crime all contributed to the rise in prosperity.

Staff Reporter

Kevin Bessler reports on statewide issues in Illinois for the Center Square. He has over 30 years of experience in radio news reporting throughout the Midwest.