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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Massachusetts Miracle

With Rick Perry's entrance into the Republican Presidential race, there has already been a lot of debunking of the so-called Texas Miracle he allegedly presided over. Taking a cue from Paul Krugman's column Monday, I want to point out how liberal “Taxachusetts” has outperformed Texas on a whole host of measures of economic and social well-being.

As Krugman points out, Texas has a significantly higher unemployment rate than Massachusetts (8.2% vs. 7.6% in June 2011) and the percentage of people without health insurance in Texas is the country's highest (26% of the total population) while Massachusetts has the lowest uninsured rate at 5%

We can further note that Texas suffered worse unemployment from the recession than Massachusetts did: in 2008 it had a lower unemployment rate than Massachusetts, while today it is higher. Its full-year unemployment rate for 2008 was 4.9%, while that of Massachusetts was 5.3%.

In 2008, only 10.0% of Massachusetts residents lived in poverty, whereas for Texas the rate was 15.8%.

Median household income in 2008 was $65,401 for Massachusetts, but only $50,043 for Texas.
Similarly, personal per capita income in Massachusetts in 2008 was $51,254, but only $37,774 in Texas.

Despite Texas' low home prices, Massachusetts had a marginally higher homeownership rate in 2008, 65.7% vs. 65.5%.

The infant mortality rate for Massachusetts in 2008 was 4.8 per 1000 live births, compared to 6.2 in Texas.

Massachusetts had more than twice as many doctors per 100,000 population in 2007 than did Texas, 469.0 vs. 214.2.

Violent crimes per 100,000 population in 2009: 457.1 in Massachusetts, 490.9 in Texas.
Massachusetts led the country in 2008 on the percentage of people over 25 years of age with a bachelor's degree or better: 38.1% compared to Texas' 25.3%. This means in Texas you are slightly more likely to lack health insurance than to have a bachelor's degree.

9.6% of workers in Texas were paid at or below the minimum wage in 2010, compared to 3.0% in Massachusetts (h/t Patrick Brendel and Pat Garofolo).

For good measure, the divorce rate in Massachusetts in 2004 was 2.2 per 1,000 residents compared to 3.6 in Texas.

To sum up, in Texas you are five times more likely to be uninsured than in “Taxachusetts,” 50% more likely to live in poverty, three times as likely to make the minimum wage or below, 1/3 less likely to have a bachelor's degree, and household median income is $15,000 lower.

Sign me up!


  1. Massachusetts even has better sports teams: three Super Bowl titles, two World Series titles, one NBA championship and a Stanley Cup, all in the last ten years. Texas must just be jealous.

  2. As someone who has traveled all over the country and much of the world I can say objectively that there are few places as nice as New England, and few cities as pretty and livable as Boston. In Texas you hide inside from the heat for (at least) 6 months while we get to play outside in the snow... Thanks for doing your part to debunk the myth... Now about those "MASSHoles..."

  3. You could have saved yourself a decent amount of time and embarrassment by reading this first so you didn't come across as a biased political hack, but I guess meaningful analysis isn't really what you're going for. You have a side that you want to win, facts be damned.

    carry on.

  4. The facts are pretty well laid out in this piece. Mass rules Perry's Texas is going downhill.

  5. And what is this post is embarrassing? How about pointing out what wrong with the numbers presented here instead of just pointing at someone else's blog, which as a matter of fact, does not dispute the facts presented here.