With Independence Day right around the corner and Americans receiving trillions of dollars in aid from the government during the COVID-19 pandemic, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2020’s Most Independent States.

Turns out California has cause to celebrate this holiday.

To determine the most self-sufficient states, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 39 metrics, which measure how dependent Americans are on the government and other people for finances, their jobs and personal vices. You can find highlights from the report below.

Independence in California (1=Best; 25=Avg.):

  • 5th – Median Debt per Income
  • 10th – Share of Adults Saving for Children’s College Education
  • 20th – Share of Federal-, State- & Local-Government Employees
  • 27th – Share of Jobs Supported by Exported Goods
  • 6th – Industry Variety
  • 2nd – Share of Current Adult Smokers

Americans value independence. We fought hard for it during the American Revolutionary War, and in the present day, we celebrate not only our freedom from the British crown but also our strong ability to rely upon ourselves as individuals, Adam McCann, a financial writer for Wallethub writes.

For 2020’s Most and Least Independent States, watch the video.


However, this year has been an especially big test of our independence, as Americans have been forced to stay much more isolated from others than usual during the COVID-19 pandemic. In response to the financial hardship resulting from the pandemic, many people have become at least temporarily more dependent on the federal government, which has given out trillions of dollars in aid to individuals, as well as to state and local governments. Other people have become more dependent on personal vices, such as drinking and drugs, during the time of self-isolation.

For the full report, click here.

Image Sources

  • July 4th: Pixaby