While other states are decisively moving forward, Rhode Island is falling in the wrong direction.

Rhode Island’s Medicaid system is very large and expensive, costing $2,512 for every man, woman, and child in the state (the 4th highest level in the country). On the 2016 FPI, Rhode Island is ranked a dismal 48th. Further, overall state Medicaid costs have skyrocketed beyond initial expectations due to increased enrollment levels. 

As a result of high Medicaid costs and other state spending, state and local taxes in Rhode Island are above average and make it more difficult for families to achieve prosperity.

Rhode Island’s state and local tax burden is 11% higher and is growing 14% faster than the national average. In FY14, Rhode Island’s state and local tax burden (as a percentage of private sector personal income) was 11 percent higher than the national average (16.2 percent versus 14.6 percent). Adding insult to injury, Rhode Island’s tax burden between FY00 and FY14 grew faster than the national average (5 percent versus 4.4 percent).

Rhode Island ranks 37th on the government burden sub-index of the 2016 FPI.


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