Where you live — and the overall health of the economy there — is a factor in how recession impacts you. This map reveals how your state has improved (or not) over the last six years or so. Click through the map labels at top to see each of the four categories. On all four maps, you can hover over a state to see the numbers. (Data was unavailable for a few and those states are a pale yellow.) Read about each economic factor and how we measured it below. 

Underwater Mortgages

This map looks at the number of “seriously underwater mortgages” by state in 2012 and compares that to 2017 numbers. From Nevada to Michigan, underwater mortgages—meaning a homeowner owes more on their house than the house is worth—made headlines during the last recession. Many economists say that this type of housing trouble won’t be a big factor in the next U.S. recession, but Congress recently got rid of some of the rules for banks that may have prevented another such crisis. (“Seriously underwater” means a property owner owes 25 percent or more above the value of the property.) Source: Underwater Mortgage Rates from ATTOM Data Solutions

Yellow = From 2012 to 2017, percent of underwater mortgages decreased.
Orange = From 2012 to 2017, percent of underwater mortgages decreased moderately.
Dark Orange = From 2012 to 2017, percent of underwater mortgages showed little improvement or increased.

Income Strength

High housing cost burdens mean greater worry during a recession. This map looks at the median income and median monthly housing costs for states, for 2012 and 2016, to get a snapshot of affordability—or lack of it. While the median income has ticked up, most states haven’t seen a big improvement in affordability. Money experts have long said you should aim to spend less than 30 percent of your income on housing, but for many that’s impossibleSource: Median income and median monthly housing costs from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey
Yellow = From 2012 to 2016, housing affordability improved.
Orange = From 2012 to 2016, housing affordability improved moderately.
Dark Orange = From 2012 to 2016, housing affordability showed little improvement or decline.

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Unemployment

This map compares unemployment rates in 2012 to 2017. There’s been good jobs news recently, but recovery from the last recession wasn’t great for every state. If you’re out of a job, the next recession will make it tougher to find a new one. (See Tarbell’s “How All Americans Can Prepare for the Next Recession” for ideas that could help more Americans get work.) Source: Unemployment rate from the Bureau of Labor Statistics

Yellow = From 2012 to 2017, unemployment dropped.
Orange = From 2012 to 2017, unemployment dipped moderately.
Dark Orange = From 2012 to 2017, unemployment improved little or increased.

Student Loan Debt

This map compares student loan debt by state between 2012 and 2017. Underwater mortgages were at the center of the Great Recession, but one lasting effect of the meltdown is that younger Americans have racked up dangerously high student loan debts. The next recession could make things worse for this owing generation. Source: The Project on Student Debt from The Institute for College Access & Success

Yellow = From 2012 to 2017, student loan debt decreased or only rose slightly.
Orange = From 2012 to 2017, student loan debt grew moderately.
Dark Orange = From 2012 to 2017, student loan debt increased significantly.

StatePercent Seriously Underwater Mortgages (2017)Percent Income Spent on Housing (Median Monthly, 2016)Unemployment Rate (2017)Student Debt (Average, 2017)
Alabama13.6619.094.4$31,275
Alaska3.820.067.2$26,008
Arizona8.221.854.9$23,447
Arkansas12.318.323.7$26,859
California4.0426.524.8$22,744
Colorado3.6122.542.8$26,520
Connecticut9.6622.324.7$35,494
Delaware11.2320.874.6$33,838
Florida10.1824.114.2$24,461
Georgia13.0621.494.7$27,657
Hawaii4.5224.512.4$26,092
Idaho7.7719.433.2$27,130
Illinois13.3920.855$29,271
Indiana9.2718.213.5$29,562
Iowa14.2516.983.1$29,801
Kansas11.3118.263.6$28,776
Kentucky10.5518.774.9$28,910
Louisiana19.220.235.1$27,138
Maine7.9119.853.3$31,295
Maryland10.7221.934.1$27,455
Massachusetts5.2422.713.7$31,563
Michigan11.6519.434.6$30,852
Minnesota6.1118.883.5$31,915
Mississippi13.8319.465.1$29,384
Missouri12.8118.953.8$27,532
Montana6.5818.814$31,065
Nebraska9.1517.812.9$26,585
Nevada11.2822.775$24,128
New Hampshire6.5221.12.7$36,367
New Jersey9.9123.984.6$29,878
New Mexico8.6719.976.2$21,373
New York6.5724.034.7$30,346
North Carolina9.1520.574.6$25,562
North Dakota8.1615.212.6Unavailable
Ohio13.1219.035$30,351
Oklahoma10.6318.284.3$25,856
Oregon3.8522.994.1$27,321
Pennsylvania13.9719.634.9$35,759
Rhode Island7.2622.44.5$31,217
South Carolina9.5219.984.3$30,123
South DakotaUnavailable16.93.3$31,362
Tennessee9.8119.973.7$26,981
Texas5.3220.794.3$26,292
Utah4.7219.733.2$19,975
Vermont5.822.163$28,662
Virginia8.3721.413.8$29,296
Washington3.9122.234.8$24,609
West Virginia10.8316.355.2$27,708
Wisconsin11.7119.093.3$30,059
Wyoming7.3717.394.2$25,378