Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, prosperity in the U.S. had been rising for a decade and was at its highest ever level, with all states apart from Alaska, and all but 16 counties in the eight selected states, improving.
Prosperity was not universally shared across the U.S., with Northern states outperforming those in the South, and further disparities existing within states at a county level. Eight of the ten weakest performing states are in the South.
The Inclusive Societies domain improved, due to Governance strengthening. While Personal and Family Relationships improved over the past decade, Social Networks, Institutional Trust, and Civic and Social Participation all deteriorated, leading to an overall decline in Social Capital.
The domain in which the U.S. saw the biggest improvement over the last decade was Open Economies. This was due to Economic Quality strengthening, as states became more productive and competitive, with increased workforce engagement and state governments’ financial reserves increasing.
The U.S. also saw a significant improvement in the Empowered People domain over the last decade, due to Living Conditions, Health, Education, and Natural Environment all improving, although mental health has declined over the last year.