State by state: Where's the best place to save for retirement? (© Digital Vision Ltd./SuperStock)

Cheyenne is capital of Wyoming, which ranks as U.S. News' top state in which to build a nest egg. // © Digital Vision Ltd./SuperStock

As workers throughout the country struggle to rebuild their savings, it's clear that not all states are created equal.

Slide show: The best and worst places to build your nest egg

With that in mind, U.S. News created an index to measure which states are the best — and worst — for Americans who are saving for retirement.

The rankings consider each state's housing market, unemployment rate, per capita income and taxes to get a sense of where Americans most likely can tuck away money for their nest eggs.

All state-by-state income figures are from this year. The numbers are nominal and not adjusted for inflation. Tax burdens are from a 2008 Tax Foundation study. Real-estate numbers refer to how much per year each state's home prices are expected to grow between this year and 2013. Unemployment rates are from this past June.

What's your home worth?

For home prices, income, tax burdens and unemployment, states were divided into 10 brackets based on their relative performance. For each category, states in the bottom bracket received one point, while states in the top bracket received 10 points. States with preferential tax treatment for capital gains got a two-point bonus.

© Stockbyte/photolibrary

Bing: Search & decide

The maximum total score that a state could receive is 42 points.

Here's a look at the numbers for each state:

No.StatePer capita incomeAnnual home-price growthState and local tax burden (% of income)Unemployment
rate
Treatment of capital gainsScore
1Wyoming$45,5844.5%7%6.8%Preferential40
2New Hampshire$42,9671.1%7.6%5.9%Preferential39
3Alaska$43,3693.5%6.4%7.9%Preferential38
4Washington$41,8556.6%8.9%8.9%Preferential32
5North Dakota$39,4440.2%9.2%3.6%Preferential30
6TMontana$34,2393.1%8.6%7.3%Preferential29
Vermont$39,5100.9%10.3%6%Preferential29
8South Dakota$37,221-1.4%7.9%4.5%Preferential28
9TMinnesota$41,7270.8%10.2%6.8%Normal27
New Mexico$33,5242.1%8.6%8.2%Preferential27
Texas$36,4690.1%8.4%8.2%Preferential27
12TLouisiana$35,7590%8.4%7%Normal26
Massachusetts$50,3200.4%9.5%9%Normal26
Nebraska$38,7650.5%9.8%4.8%Normal26
15TColorado$41,235-0.2%9%8%Normal25
Iowa$37,306-0.2%9.3%6.8%Normal25
Maine$37,2253.1%10%8%Normal25
18TConnecticut$54,6711.1%11.1%8.8%Normal24
Illinois$41,5451.4%9.3%10.4%Normal24
Kansas$38,561-0.2%9.6%6.5%Normal24
Virginia$44,113-0.3%9.8%7%Normal24
22THawaii$42,372-1.7%10.6%6.3%Preferential22
Maryland$48,570-0.5%10.8%7.1%Normal22
New Jersey$50,4980.6%11.8%9.6%Normal22
Oregon$35,6943.4%9.4%10.5%Normal22
Rhode Island$41,7461.5%10.2%12%Preferential22
South Carolina$32,2291.7%8.8%10.7%Preferential22
28TDelaware$39,821-0.7%9.5%8.5%Normal21
Tennessee$34,471-0.2%8.3%10.1%Preferential21
Utah$30,7000.7%9.6%7.2%Normal21
Wisconsin$36,8930.1%10.2%7.9%Preferential21
32TFlorida$37,600-5%7.4%11.4%Preferential20
Nevada$37,771-2.3%6.6%14.2%Preferential20
Oklahoma$35,413-0.3%9.8%6.8%Normal20
Pennsylvania$40,1470.6%10.2%9.2%Normal20
West Virginia$32,5490.3%9.3%8.5%Normal20
37TDistrict of Columbia$67,341-0.7%10.3%10%Normal19
North Carolina$34,7351.3%9.8%10%Normal19
39TAlabama$33,5440%8.6%10.3%Normal17
Arizona$32,746-1.5%8.5%9.6%Normal17
Arkansas$31,985-0.2%10%7.5%Preferential17
Idaho$31,8040.9%10.1%8.8%Normal17
Michigan$34,5350.7%9.4%13.2%Normal17
Mississippi$30,6030.7%8.9%11%Normal17
New York$47,727-2.1%11.7%8.2%Normal17
46TMissouri$35,871-2.1%9.2%9.1%Normal16
Georgia$33,7080.5%9.9%10%Normal16
48Indiana$34,196-2%9.4%10.1%Normal14
49Kentucky$32,476-0.9%9.4%10%Normal12
50California$42,346-2.6%10.5%12.3%Normal11
51Ohio$35,662-3.5%10.4%10.5%Normal9

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