2011’s Essential StateImpact: The 10 Posts That Caught Your Eye (And Your Clicks)

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Since we launched last summer, StateImpact's picked up some serious steam. Here are our 10 posts that drew the most eyes in 2011

It’s hard for us to believe, but StateImpact New Hampshire launched just five short months ago.  During that time, we’ve worked to bring you data-driven reports and analysis focused on how business and the economy in New Hampshire work.  Our goal is to bring you original journalism, to dig deeper into the big stories of the day, and to bring you the stories you didn’t even know were there. And, we’ve tried to do it in as interesting and as accessible a way as possible.

We’re going to do more of the same in the New Year.

But, as we move toward wrapping-up 2011, we just couldn’t resist a little retrospective–This Year’s Essential Stateimpact:

  1. The States With The Best And Worst Wage Laws For Home Health Workers: By far our most popular post this year was a map we generated based on data from the White House on which states do–and don’t–offer home health workers overtime and minimum wage under the law.  This map provides a quick and easy way to find out how individual states–and regions–compare.
  2. How Junk Mail Is Helping To Prop Up The Postal Service:  Our quest to find out how much companies like Fingerhut really pay to send us catalogs we never asked for led us deep into the arcana of postal rates.  There are numbers (this is a StateImpact piece, after all!), but it’s also one of our lighter-toned stories…an economic news “dessert piece,” so to speak.
  3. Nine Essential Takeaways From The Fed’s Report On Foreclosure Prevention:  The tone of this piece is the polar opposite of our junk mail post–proving StateImpact readers like a bit of steak and vegetables with their light ‘n fluffy chocolate mousse.  A Boston Fed analyst recently looked at which New England states are doing a good job at keeping people in their homes, and which ones need some serious work–and why foreclosure prevention is worthwhile in the first place.  We read the report, waded through the numbers, and gave you the key takeaways.
  4. How Do States Get FEMA Disaster Relief Money After Irene?:  FEMA aid works in mysterious ways.  That became particularly clear to New Englanders following Hurricane Irene.  In this post, we take you through the process–start to finish–that states go through to get aid for infrastructure repairs.
  5. NH Communities Continue Dealing With Irene Fallout: A Roundup:  The continued popularity of this post has been a pleasant surprise.  Shortly after Irene hit, we scanned the state’s local dailies for which communities were hurting.  And, it seems, the list is still circulating–a testament to the power of our daily Latest Links.
  6. Update: What A Billionaire Actually Bought In New Hampshire:  This post went viral and generated a bit of buzz when NPR’s Andy Carvin tweeted it out into the ether.  In yet another one of our light news confections, we let you in on our process of figuring out what the heck billionaire John Malone bought in New Hampshire that helped make him the country’s biggest landowner.  Along the way, we have an interesting discussion with a PR rep who doesn’t want to comment on a lot of things…including the fact that he has no comment.
  7. How Big Banks (Some With NH Branches) Benefited From Secret Fed Loan Program: For the past two years, Bloomberg News has been looking into a secret fed loan program that made TARP look like like (relatively) small change.  We give you the highlights of the piece…and the Granite State connection.
  8. Is New Hampshire Really As Anti-Tax As It’s Cracked Up To Be?:  A reader’s comment on one of our pieces about Herman Cain’s 9-9-9 policy provided the impetus for this post.  The gist of the comment is that, well, nobody likes taxes, so it’s not fair to characterize New Hampshire as being particularly “anti-tax.”  That got us thinking, and we decided to compare the Granite State to two very different places–Iowa and Washington State.
  9. Losing The Lotto: Comparing NH’s Lotto Prizes To Massachusetts:  Starting this fall, we started looking into New Hampshire’s declining lottery revenues.  There are a lot of factors involved in this particular issue, but one of them is a PR problem:  A lot of people just don’t believe New Hampshire has very good prizes.  And so they buy their lottery tickets in Massachusetts. We snagged some reports from both states, crunched some numbers, and got down to the truth of the matter.
  10. Part 1: Which NH Counties Won New Residents–And Lost Old Ones:  As the state’s population ages, and younger people don’t move in, demographics are becoming a bigger and bigger deal for New Hampshire–and its economy.  Another dimension to the state’s demographic issue is which counties are seeing population growth and loss–and where are these people coming from or going to?  We use data to trace their trails.


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