GOBankingRates

Most and Least Recession-Proof States

Davel5957 / iStock.com

It's been about eight years since the U.S. climbed out of the Great Recession, but many Americans are still recovering from the economic downturn. And some states haven’t bounced back as quickly as others.

So what would happen if the U.S. economy were to sink into another recession anytime soon? Would some states be hit harder than others? To find out, GOBankingRates looked at various factors in every state to determine how prepared each is to weather the next economic crisis.

Can your state handle an economic downturn? Click through to find out which states are not prepared for the next recession.

©Shutterstock.com

50. New Jersey

Unemployment rate change: 0.1
Long-term liabilities per capita: $16,820.87
Average mortgage debt: $242,631
Housing market health index: 0.21

New Jersey is the least prepared for a recession. In fact, it’s one of the states with the most debt — but it's not the only one. Click through to see all the states with the most and least amount of debt.

hawkeye978 / iStock.com

49. Massachusetts

Unemployment rate change: 0.5
Long-term liabilities per capita: $9,918.71
Average mortgage debt: $246,004
Housing market health index: 3.13

A recession might hit Massachusetts hard because it's one of the least economically diverse states in the U.S. Its long-term debt per capita is among the highest in the U.S., as is the average mortgage debt of its residents. Plus, Massachusetts has had the second-highest percentage increase in unemployment over the last year.

Are You Prepared? 10 Recession Warning Signs You Need to Know

JonnyNoTrees / iStock.com

48. Alaska

Unemployment rate change: 0.6
Long-term liabilities per capita: $11,473.04
Average mortgage debt: $217,960
Housing market health index: 8.13

Alaska has the highest unemployment rate in the nation — 7.2 percent. And, along with South Dakota, it's seen the biggest increase in unemployment over the last year. It also has more debt per capita than most states.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

47. Connecticut

Unemployment rate change: -0.1
Long-term liabilities per capita: $15,937.20
Average mortgage debt: $232,494
Housing market health index: 1.88

Connecticut has the second-highest long-term liabilities per capita in the U.S. Plus, the average mortgage debt among residents is higher than in most states. And Connecticut's housing market health is among worst in the nation.

Mlenny / iStock.com

46. Nevada

Unemployment rate change: -0.3
Long-term liabilities per capita: $1,966.61
Average mortgage debt: $210,673
Housing market health index: 3.54

Nevada is one of the states with the most improving economies, another GOBankingRates study found. But that doesn't mean it's prepared for a recession. Its economic diversity is the second worst in the U.S. And, Nevada's 5 percent unemployment rate is among highest in the nation.

Davel5957 / iStock.com

45. Delaware

Unemployment rate change: 0.5
Long-term liabilities per capita: $7,018.01
Average mortgage debt: $189,962
Housing market health index: 0.42

Along with Massachusetts, Delaware has had the second biggest percentage increase in unemployment over the last year. Real estate there is volatile, ranking for the second worst housing market health in the U.S.

©Shutterstock.com

44. Maryland

Unemployment rate change: -0.4
Long-term liabilities per capita: $6,554.04
Average mortgage debt: $252,217
Housing market health index: 0.63

Maryland's unemployment rate of 3.8 percent is lower than the national unemployment rate of 4.1 percent. But high debt levels in the state are a problem. Maryland has the third-highest average mortgage debt, and its longer-term liabilities per capita are among the highest in the U.S. Plus, Maryland has the third-worst housing market health.

Davel5957 / iStock.com

43. Wyoming

Unemployment rate change: -0.8
Long-term liabilities per capita: $4,136.17
Average mortgage debt: $180,207
Housing market health index: 5.00

Wyoming is one of the states least likely to survive a recession because it is the least economically diverse. Plus, its 4.2 percent unemployment rate is slightly higher than the nationwide unemployment rate of 4.1 percent.

frankpeters / iStock.com

42. New York

Unemployment rate change: -0.1
Long-term liabilities per capita: $4,354.87
Average mortgage debt: $234,548
Housing market health index: 4.58

It might have one of the largest economies in the U.S., but New York is not one of the most recession-proof states.

Although New York's unemployment rate has fallen slightly over the last year, it's still higher — at 4.8 percent — than the unemployment rate nationwide. Plus, it has higher average mortgage debt and higher long-term liabilities than in most states. New York's lack of economic diversity also hurts it.

AnLuNi / Shutterstock.com

41. Illinois

Unemployment rate change: -0.9
Long-term liabilities per capita: $12,118.22
Average mortgage debt: $176,282
Housing market health index: 1.04

Illinois has the third-highest long-term liabilities per capita in the U.S. Plus, the state's unemployment rate of 4.9 percent is among the top 10 highest rates. Its poor housing market health also makes it less recession-proof.

SeanPavonePhoto / iStock.com

40. Rhode Island

Unemployment rate change: -0.9
Long-term liabilities per capita: $5,377.40
Average mortgage debt: $191,558
Housing market health index: 2.29

Rhode Island is one of the least economically diverse states. Plus, it has higher average mortgage debt and long-term liabilities per capita than in the majority of states. Rhode Island's poor housing market health also makes it one of the states least prepared for a recession.

ferrantraite / iStock.com

39. New Mexico

Unemployment rate change: -0.7
Long-term liabilities per capita: $3,551.08
Average mortgage debt: $157,280
Housing market health index: 2.71

Despite a 0.7 percent drop over the last year, New Mexico still has the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation at 6.1 percent. The state also is hurt by its lack of economic diversity.

philipdyer / Getty Images

38. Hawaii

Unemployment rate change: -0.7
Long-term liabilities per capita: $11,778.72
Average mortgage debt: $331,180
Housing market health index: 8.75

Hawaii has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation — just 2.2 percent — which makes it one of the best states for the unemployed who want a job. But the state's high debt puts it in a precarious position if another recession hits. And the average mortgage debt in Hawaii is higher than in every state except California.

Davel5957 / iStock.com

37. Virginia

Unemployment rate change: -0.5
Long-term liabilities per capita: $1,752.15
Average mortgage debt: $242,022
Housing market health index: 1.67

Although its long-term liabilities per capita are among the lowest in the nation, Virginia's average mortgage debt is among the highest. Plus, Virginia is hurt by its poor housing market health and lack of economic diversity.

Kenneth Sponsler / Shutterstock.com

36. Ohio

Unemployment rate change: 0.1
Long-term liabilities per capita: $3,620.09
Average mortgage debt: $126,746
Housing market health index: 0.83

Ohio is one of eight states where the unemployment rate has increased over the last year. And the percentage of unemployed — 5.1 percent — is third highest in the U.S. But Ohio benefits from a relatively diverse economy.

Davel5957 / iStock.com

35. Kentucky

Unemployment rate change: 0.1
Long-term liabilities per capita: $9,248.84
Average mortgage debt: $123,546
Housing market health index: 6.46

Kentucky is one of the least fiscally successful states, another GOBankingRates study found. So, it's not too surprising that Kentucky's not prepared for a recession. Plus, the state's 5 percent unemployment rate is among the highest in the U.S., and it's one of just eight states where unemployment has risen over the last year.

©Shutterstock.com

34. California

Unemployment rate change: -0.4
Long-term liabilities per capita: $5,476.44
Average mortgage debt: $336,250
Housing market health index: 7.92

At 4.9 percent, California's unemployment rate is one of the highest in the U.S. Plus, the state has the highest average mortgage debt. Its long-term liabilities per capita also rank near the top in the country. In fact, it is home to seven cities that have gone bankrupt in recent years.

But California's economic diversity — the fourth best in the nation — might help insulate it somewhat from a recession.

SeanPavonePhoto / iStock.com

33. Mississippi

Unemployment rate change: -0.8
Long-term liabilities per capita: $2,799.46
Average mortgage debt: $117,587
Housing market health index: 5.83

Mississippi is one of the least economically diverse states in the U.S., which could hurt it in a recession. Plus, its unemployment rate is among the highest in the nation. But Mississippi's debt is under better control than in many states. In fact, it has the second-lowest average mortgage debt.

Pgiam / iStock.com

32. Pennsylvania

Unemployment rate change: -0.8
Long-term liabilities per capita: $2,922.27
Average mortgage debt: $157,643
Housing market health index: 1.46

Pennsylvania's debt levels are lower than nearly half of the states. However, its unemployment rate of 4.7 percent is higher than the national rate. And Pennsylvania's housing market health is among the worst in the U.S.

Steve Heap / Shutterstock.com

31. West Virginia

Unemployment rate change: -0.8
Long-term liabilities per capita: $4,222.65
Average mortgage debt: $113,436
Housing market health index: 5.63

Although West Virginia's unemployment rate has fallen over the last year, it still has the third-highest percentage of unemployed workers in the U.S., along with Ohio. It also is one of the least economically diverse states. But West Virginia has the lowest average mortgage debt in the nation.

Solange_Z / Getty Images

30. North Dakota

Unemployment rate change: -0.5
Long-term liabilities per capita: $4,417.82
Average mortgage debt: $152,039
Housing market health index: 7.29

North Dakota has the second-lowest unemployment rate in the nation — 2.5 percent. However, it's one of the least economically diverse states. Residents worried about a recession should consider a career in an industry with better job security.

29. Vermont

Unemployment rate change: -0.3
Long-term liabilities per capita: $4,282.50
Average mortgage debt: $148,136
Housing market health index: 5.00

At 2.9 percent, Vermont's unemployment rate is among the lowest in the U.S. But its long-term liabilities per capita are higher than in the majority of states. Plus, its economy ranks among the bottom half of states for diversity.

f11photo / Shutterstock.com

28. Michigan

Unemployment rate change: -0.5
Long-term liabilities per capita: $1,790.16
Average mortgage debt: $132,336
Housing market health index: 5.21

Michigan's unemployment rate has improved over the last year, but at 4.5 percent, it's still higher than the rate nationwide. It might not weather a recession as well as other states because its economy isn't among the most diverse. However, Michigan's long-term liabilities per capita and average mortgage debt are among the lowest in the U.S.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

27. Georgia

Unemployment rate change: -1.1
Long-term liabilities per capita: $2,219.83
Average mortgage debt: $165,466
Housing market health index: 2.08

Georgia has experienced one of the biggest drops in unemployment of any state of the last year. However, its unemployment rate of 4.3 percent is still higher than the national rate of 4.1 percent. But Georgia benefits from relatively low long-term liabilities per capita and an economy that's more diverse than half of the states.

Jon Bilous / Shutterstock.com

26. Montana

Unemployment rate change: -0.1
Long-term liabilities per capita: $2,336.10
Average mortgage debt: $170,113
Housing market health index: 8.54

Montana hasn't dug itself too deep into debt. Its long-term liabilities per capita are lower than in more than half of the states. And its housing market health is among the best in the nation. But it's not one of the most economically diverse states, which could make it less resilient in a downturn.

Davel5957 / Getty Images

25. Arkansas

Unemployment rate change: -0.4
Long-term liabilities per capita: $2,771.76
Average mortgage debt: $123,495
Housing market health index: 2.92

The state's 3.6 percent unemployment rate is lower than the national rate of 4.1 percent. But its economy isn't the most diverse. And the housing market isn't healthy in Arkansas.

Related: Another Recession Would Ruin Two-Thirds of Americans, Survey Finds

Ron_Thomas / Getty Images

24. Indiana

Unemployment rate change: -0.3
Long-term liabilities per capita: $1,970.55
Average mortgage debt: $119,651
Housing market health index: 4.79

Indiana's economic diversity ranks near the middle of states, as does its unemployment rate and housing market health. However, the debt levels are lower in Indiana than in many other states. In fact, it has the third-lowest average mortgage debt in the U.S.

Daniel Korzeniewski / Shutterstock.com

23. Florida

Unemployment rate change: -1.3
Long-term liabilities per capita: $2,303.14
Average mortgage debt: $177,932
Housing market health index: 5.00

Florida has seen one of the biggest drops in unemployment over the last year. And its liabilities per capita are lower than in more than half of the states. But Florida is hurt by its lack of economic diversity and relatively high average mortgage debt. In fact, it's one of the states with the biggest real estate bubbles.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

22. Maine

Unemployment rate change: -0.4
Long-term liabilities per capita: $2,542.40
Average mortgage debt: $145,243
Housing market health index: 2.50

If a recession hit, Maine might benefit from its low unemployment rate of 3.5 percent and diverse economy. Plus, it has lower long-term liabilities per capita than more than half of the states. But its housing market health ranks near the bottom of the nation.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

21. New Hampshire

Unemployment rate change: -0.1
Long-term liabilities per capita: $2,529.37
Average mortgage debt: $180,223
Housing market health index: 6.04

At 2.7 percent, New Hampshire's unemployment rate is among the lowest in the U.S. It's also more economically diverse than more than half of the states. However, the state's average mortgage debt is higher than in a majority of the states.

Do You Agree? Survey Reveals Americans Have More Trust in Banks Since Recession

beklaus / Getty Images

20. Colorado

Unemployment rate change: -0.4
Long-term liabilities per capita: $3,042.79
Average mortgage debt: $230,142
Housing market health index: 9.79

Thanks to its low unemployment rate, Colorado is one of the best states for job seekers. But it likely won't get through a recession as well as other states because of its high average mortgage debt.

Francey / Shutterstock.com

19. Wisconsin

Unemployment rate change: -0.8
Long-term liabilities per capita: $2,693.40
Average mortgage debt: $141,403
Housing market health index: 4.17

Wisconsin's unemployment rate of 3.4 percent is lower than in most states. And its debt levels are lower than more than half of the states. However, its economic diversity ranks in the bottom half of the nation.

Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

18. South Dakota

Unemployment rate change: 0.6
Long-term liabilities per capita: $802.91
Average mortgage debt: $147,990
Housing market health index: 9.58

South Dakota's unemployment rate of 3.5 percent is lower than the national rate. But it's one of eight states that have seen an increase in unemployment over the past year. However, South Dakota has the fourth-lowest long-term liabilities per capita.

©Shutterstock.com

17. Washington

Unemployment rate change: -0.8
Long-term liabilities per capita: $8,444.83
Average mortgage debt: $240,098
Housing market health index: 8.33

Washington could weather a recession reasonably well because it's one of the most economically diverse states in the U.S. However, its unemployment rate already is higher than the national rate. And its long-term liabilities per capita are among the highest in the nation.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

16. Louisiana

Unemployment rate change: -1.3
Long-term liabilities per capita: $4,196.76
Average mortgage debt: $145,330
Housing market health index: 5.00

Louisiana's unemployment rate has experienced one of the biggest drops in the nation over the last year. But the state still has a higher percentage of unemployed workers — 4.8 percent — than the nation as a whole. Its economy, though, is more diverse than the economies in more than half of the other states.

photo.ua / Shutterstock.com

15. Minnesota

Unemployment rate change: -0.7
Long-term liabilities per capita: $2,332.94
Average mortgage debt: $172,130
Housing market health index: 3.75

Minnesota's relatively diverse economy might help it get through a recession better than most states, as would its low unemployment rate and long-term liabilities per capita. But its housing market is more volatile than in half of the states.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

14. South Carolina

Unemployment rate change: -0.5
Long-term liabilities per capita: $1,508.86
Average mortgage debt: $156,150
Housing market health index: 4.38

South Carolina might be well-prepared for a recession because it isn't deep in debt. Its long-term liabilities per capita are among the lowest in the nation. Plus, its unemployment rate of 3.9 percent is lower than the U.S. unemployment rate.

Chris Rubino / Shutterstock.com

13. Arizona

Unemployment rate change: -0.5
Long-term liabilities per capita: $2,266.85
Average mortgage debt: $194,853
Housing market health index: 7.50

Arizona is better prepared for a recession than most states thanks to its diverse economy. Plus, its long-term liabilities per capita are lower than in the majority of states. However, Arizona's unemployment rate of 4.5 percent is higher than the U.S. unemployment rate.

zhu difeng / Shutterstock.com

12. Oregon

Unemployment rate change: -0.4
Long-term liabilities per capita: $3,112.08
Average mortgage debt: $210,956
Housing market health index: 6.25

Oregon has the most economic diversity of any state, which would help it in a recession. It also has a relatively healthy housing market. However, its high debt levels might be a problem — in particular, an average mortgage debt that's higher than in the majority of states.

AndreyKrav / iStock.com

11. Utah

Unemployment rate change: 0.1
Long-term liabilities per capita: $2,336.16
Average mortgage debt: $196,344
Housing market health index: 9.17

Utah is one of the eight states where unemployment has risen in the last year. But its 3.3 percent unemployment rate still is well below the national rate of 4.1 percent. Plus, its economy is among the most diverse. And its long-term liabilities per capita are lower than in more than half of the states.

Mindy Bockewitz / Shutterstock.com

10. Iowa

Unemployment rate change: -0.6
Long-term liabilities per capita: $1,591.99
Average mortgage debt: $127,495
Housing market health index: 6.88

Iowa's unemployment rate of 3 percent is among the lowest in the U.S., which could help it fare better in a recession than most of the states. Plus, its debt levels are low. In fact, Iowa's average mortgage debt is the third lowest in the U.S. But it ranks among the bottom half of states for economic diversity.

Find Your State: Here Are the Best and Worst States for the Middle Class

skiserge1 / iStock.com

9. North Carolina

Unemployment rate change: -1.0
Long-term liabilities per capita: $1,027.56
Average mortgage debt: $161,893
Housing market health index: 3.33

North Carolina's unemployment rate has seen one of the biggest drops in the nation over the last year. Plus, its economy is one of the most diverse. However, one strike against it is its housing market, which is more volatile than in a majority of the states.

Davel5957 / iStock.com

8. Oklahoma

Unemployment rate change: -0.5
Long-term liabilities per capita: $610.43
Average mortgage debt: $127,819
Housing market health index: 6.67

Low debt levels make Oklahoma one of the states most likely to survive a recession. It has the third-lowest long-term liabilities per capita and eighth-lowest average mortgage debt. Its economy also is more diverse than in the majority of states.

Oklahoma also is one of the best states to grow your money thanks to competitive rates on deposit accounts, another GOBankingRates study found.

Sean Pavone / Shutterstock.com

7. Alabama

Unemployment rate change: -2.5
Long-term liabilities per capita: $2,136.67
Average mortgage debt: $138,154
Housing market health index: 1.25

Alabama has seen the biggest drop in unemployment of any state over the last year. With a 3.6 percent unemployment rate — which is below the national rate — it's well-poised to weather a recession. Plus, Alabama isn't burdened by high levels of debt.

Matthew Rutledge / Flickr.com

6. Texas

Unemployment rate change: -0.9
Long-term liabilities per capita: $3,259.33
Average mortgage debt: $159,195
Housing market health index: 10.00

If Texas were a country, it would have one of the biggest economies in the world. Its diverse array of industries would likely help it weather a recession well. Plus, it has the healthiest housing market among all the states.

Never Forget: 7 Lessons Today's Homeowners Can Learn From the 2008 Crisis

SNEHIT / Shutterstock.com

5. Missouri

Unemployment rate change: -1.1
Long-term liabilities per capita: $1,815.61
Average mortgage debt: $134,760
Housing market health index: 3.96

Missouri's unemployment rate has tumbled over the last year to 3.5 percent and is well below the national rate. Plus, its economy is the second-most diverse in the U.S. Not only would it likely survive a recession, but Missouri is also one of the best states to start a business, a separate GOBankingRates study found.

Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

4. Kansas

Unemployment rate change: -0.7
Long-term liabilities per capita: $2,127.54
Average mortgage debt: $135,508
Housing market health index: 7.71

A diverse economy and low unemployment rate would help Kansas if a recession hit. Its long-term liabilities per capita and average mortgage debt also are lower than in a majority of the states.

©Shutterstock.com

3. Idaho

Unemployment rate change: -0.8
Long-term liabilities per capita: $1,114.42
Average mortgage debt: $158,953
Housing market health index: 9.38

Idaho's unemployment rate of 2.9 percent is among the lowest in the nation. The state also benefits from a diverse economy and low debt levels. And, Idaho's housing market is one of the healthiest in the U.S.

f11photo / Shutterstock.com

2. Tennessee

Unemployment rate change: -2.0
Long-term liabilities per capita: $584.98
Average mortgage debt: $145,027
Housing market health index: 7.08

Tennessee's 3 percent unemployment rate is among the lowest in the nation. And its economy is more diverse than the economies of half of the states. What really puts Tennessee in a good position to weather a recession, though, is its low debt. It has the second-lowest long-term liabilities per capita in the U.S.

Davel5957 / iStock.com

1. Nebraska

Unemployment rate change: -0.6
Long-term liabilities per capita: $378.61
Average mortgage debt: $132,933
Housing market health index: 8.96

Nebraska is most likely to survive a recession thanks in large part to its small debt burden. It has the lowest long-term liabilities per capita of any state and the 10th-lowest average mortgage debt. Nebraska also has the third-lowest unemployment rate in the nation and one of the most diverse economies.

©GOBankingRates

Are You Ready for the Next Recession?

Some experts predict the U.S. is headed for another recession. Although it might be unavoidable, there ways you can protect your finances and your future.

Whether you live in one of the most or least recession-proof states, you can take steps to protect your finances during an economic downturn.

Up Next: Tony Robbins on Why You Need a Recession Plan Now

Methodology: GOBankingRates determined which states would be the least and most likely to survive a recession based on five economic factors: 1) year-over-year change in unemployment rate, sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; 2) long-term liabilities per capita, sourced from Mercatus; 3) housing market volatility based on Zillow's housing market health index; 4) economic diversity based on the percentage of state employment by industry sector, sourced from the Bureau of Labor Statistics; and 5) average mortgage debt, sourced from Experian.