IPA State Economic Scorecard 2024 – Western Australia Best Performing State, Victoria Economic Basket Case

Written by:
12 March 2024
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“Although the focus of economic policy is usually at the federal level, decisions made by state governments have real-world consequences for families and businesses. With economic headwinds gathering, measuring state government performance is critical,” said Lachlan Clark, Research Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs.

Today, the IPA released its State Economic Scorecard 2024, ranking the performance of Australian states on ten key performance indicators. The research found:

  • Western Australia is the nation’s overall best performing state, with the highest wage growth, lowest tax burden, and lowest energy price increases.
  • South Australia is the nation’s overall second-best performing state, leading the nation in per capita state economic growth, productivity growth, and business investment.
  • Tasmania is the third best performing state, having the nation’s lowest rental costs and leading the nation in retail trade growth, followed by Queensland, which has the lowest state debt burden, and New South Wales, which showed strength in economic and productivity growth.
  • Victoria is the worst overall performing state in the nation and is ranked last in three separate metrics. Victoria has the highest tax burden, state debt burden, and energy price increases.
    • In addition to being ranked last in three metrics, Victoria is also ranked second last in per capita state economic growth, wages growth, retail trade, and productivity growth.

“The IPA’s Scorecard shines a light on the vital role state governments play in the success or decline of their communities,” said Mr Clark.

“The data underscores the importance of Western Australia’s nation-leading resources sector not only to the state, but the nation. In stark contrast is the economic basket-case that is Victoria. Out of control debt, taxes, and energy prices makes it the last place you would want to do business.”

Recent Australia Bureau of Statistics data confirmed national per capita economic growth, a far more precise measure of living standards than headline economic growth, had fallen for the fourth straight quarter for the first time in over 40 years.

“Australians are getting left behind at a time when cost of living pressures are acute. Today, the stresses of rapid, unplanned population growth, which is fuelling shortages in key areas, including housing, health, infrastructure, and education, keep piling up,” said Mr Clark.

“Meanwhile nationwide, while there are now signs that inflation is slowing, so too is the jobs market, with the unemployment rate above four per cent for this first time in two years, and productivity growth declining a record amount last financial year.”

“Governments at the state level have many levers at their disposal to tackle the challenges we are facing today, particularly regarding housing supply and energy costs. That is why it is vital that good policy decisions are being made by all levels of government,” said Mr Clark.

To download the IPA’s State Economic Scorecard 2024 click here.

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