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The Best and Worst State Economies in America

Source: WalletHub

A hefty paycheck isn't the only factor that contributes to financial security. As we've written about before, the part of the country where you live is often just as important as the income you earn there. If you're looking for a new state to call home, consider relocating to one with a prosperous economy.

WalletHub recently ranked the 50 states and Washington, D.C., in three areas: economic health, economic activity, and innovation potential. They looked at a number of different criteria including GDP growth, startup activity, unemployment rate, and median household income. In the map above, you can see the states with the strongest economies in dark blue and the weakest economies in light gray.

Utah came out on top, with a total score of 71.55 out of 100. The state also ranked number one in highest non-farm payrolls change and most independent-inventor patents. Washington state, tied for first for most exports per capita, was ranked second overall. California, Massachusetts, and Colorado rounded out the top five.

On the bottom of the list, Mississippi received the lowest score of 31.86. Mississippi was placed 50th for GDP growth and dead last in median household income. Arkansas, West Virginia, Maine, and New Mexico also occupied bottom slots.

If you're looking for a place to start your professional life, high average salaries and cheap rents are only parts of the bigger picture. Moving to a state with a solid economy can help your career—and bank account—grow.

All images courtesy of WalletHub.

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fun
Can You Find the Money in Santa’s Sack in This Hidden Image Puzzle?
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A hidden-object image features rows of Santas carrying sacks.
Vouchercloud

Vouchercloud, a website and app for online deals, brings us this holiday-themed test of your vision just in time for Christmas. Hidden among all the identical Santa Clauses carrying sacks of presents, one financially-savvy Santa is carrying a big sack of money. Can you figure out where he is? (Warning: Spoilers below.)

Spot him yet? If you’re stumped, check out the solution below. If this one was a breeze for you, try out a few more hidden-object puzzles here, here, and here. Or if you’re looking for something with a little more real-life relevancy, try to figure out where the snake is in this photo. Happy hunting!

A hidden-object image features rows of Santas carrying sacks with the solution circled in red.
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© 2017 USPS
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Pop Culture
Speedy Delivery: Mister Rogers Will Get His Own Stamp in 2018
© 2017 USPS
© 2017 USPS

USPS 2018 Mister Rogers stamp
© 2017 USPS

After weeks of mailing out this year’s holiday cards, postage might be the last thing you want to think about. But the U.S. Postal Service has just given us a sneak peek at the many iconic people, places, and things that will be commemorated with their own stamps in 2018, and one in particular has us excited to send out a few birthday cards: Mister Rogers.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, Fred Rogers’s groundbreaking PBS series that the USPS says “inspired and educated young viewers with warmth, sensitivity, and honesty,” the mail service shared a mockup of what the final stamp may look like. On it, Rogers—decked out in one of his trademark colorful cardigans (all of which were hand-knitted by his mom, by the way)—smiles for the camera alongside King Friday XIII, ruler of the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

Though no official release date for Fred’s forever stamp has been given, Mister Rogers is just one of many legendary figures whose visages will grace a piece of postage in 2018. Singer/activist Lena Horne will be the 41st figure to appear as part of the USPS’s Black Heritage series, while former Beatle John Lennon will be the face of the newest Music Icons collection. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will also be honored.

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