Sometimes I forget that there are 49 other states, only because Colorado feels so independent. Though I am biased, I believe we live in the best state. Having spent most of my life in Colorado, I wonder where other states rank among each other in terms of independence and affluence.

Wallethub has released a list of 2021’s Most Independent States, and you might be pleasantly surprised where Colorado lies among the ranks.

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To calculate the self-sufficiency of each state, Wallethub compared each state across 39 metrics, including how dependent Americans are on the government and other people for finances, their jobs, and personal vices.  Here are the top ten most independent states.

2021’s Most Independent States
1. Utah6. Idaho
2. Colorado7. South Dakota
3. Nebraska8. Washington
4. Virginia9. Minnesota
5. Kansas10. Delaware

Considering how fast Colorado is growing in terms of its economy and population, both of which are making areas like Northern Colorado grow rapidly, Colorado’s standing among the metrics begins to make more sense in comparison to other states. 

Colorado ranked #2 in Financial dependency, second only to New Hampshire. This is likely because of the growing marijuana industry as well as the state’s winter resorts that attract people from all over the world. Colorado also ranked #10 in government independence, likely for the same reasons listed above.

Two of the most interesting metrics are the Lowest Percentage of Jobs Supported by Exported Goods and the Lowest Percentage of State GDP Generated by Exports to Other Countries, both of which Colorado is ranked #2 ... again. These metrics mean that Colorado is able to depend on its own industries that circulate within the state and generate its own GDP.

There is one metric where Colorado is almost dead last. Colorado ranks #47 for Lowest Percentage of Adult Drug Users. Could this be because of actual heavy drug use, or differences in drug classification across other states? As an optimistic native, I hope it is the latter. 

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