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      Minnesota Ranks Second in Nationwide Opportunity Index

      Posted on November 28, 2011 at 2:39 PM

      Opportunity Nation ranked Minnesota 2nd in the nation today in a new index that measures how effectively individuals can move up the economic ladder, according to Northland's NewsCenter.

      The Opportunity Index ranked all 50 states using indicators such as the unemployment rate, poverty rate, on-time graduation rate, and others to assign a first of its kind Opportunity Score. Minnesota earned an Opportunity Score of 81.2 out of 100.

      According to the announcement, Minnesota earned high marks:

      Minnesota outperformed almost every other state in the union, earning an Opportunity Score of 81.2 out of 100.   A few of the highlights that helped set Minnesota apart include:

      - Weathering the Economic Downturn: During a time when a majority of the country is struggling to make ends meet, Minnesota’s residents earn a slightly higher on average income than most Americans ($57,007 vs. $51,425).  In addition, their statewide poverty rate is just over 10% compared to the national average of 13.47% and their unemployment rate is significantly lower than the national unemployment rate (7.4% vs. 9.1%, respectfully).

      - Excelling in Education: Minnesota has one of the highest on-time high school graduation rates (87%) in the country, and one of the largest percentages of adults with bachelor degrees (31%).

      - Engaged Young Adults: Only 4.7% of Minnesota's teenagers are not in school and not working, the lowest rate of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

      "Having scored above the national average in many metrics used to formulate their Opportunity Score, Minnesota is clearly an opportunity leader and has put the building blocks in place for their residents to succeed," said Mark Edwards, executive director of Opportunity Nation.  "Providing quality education, sound economies, and safe communities are the stepping stones to economic mobility in this country, and Minnesota’s leaders deserve particular commendation for their work."

      ...

      Opportunity Nation is a broad-based, cross-partisan coalition of nearly 200 public, private, non-profit, civilian and military organizations working together to ensure that every citizen that works hard can achieve their full potential.