Iowa rated as best state to live in; Louisiana the worst

A view of the Des Moines, Iowa, skyline. The state of Iowa ranked first overall in a report this week on the best U.S. states in which to live. Photo by Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock/UPI

March 1 (UPI) — Iowa is the best state to live in — and Louisiana is the worst, according to a new ranking by U.S. News and World Report this week that weighed a number of criteria.

The magazine considered each state’s infrastructure, healthcare, opportunity, education and quality of life to determine the list. It rated on thousands of data points within 77 metrics to measure state performance.

Iowa was ranked first in the United States for infrastructure, third for healthcare and fourth for opportunity.

Out of the eight categories, Iowa shares its No. 1 ranking for infrastructure with Hawaii for health care, Massachusetts for education, Colorado for economy, New Hampshire for opportunities, Maine for crime, Utah for fiscal stability and North Dakota, ranked the best place to live for quality of life.

Minnesota ranked second, followed by Utah, North Dakota and New Hampshire. Washington, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Vermont and Colorado rounded out the top 10.

Louisiana was rated last — landing in the bottom 10 on all categories: healthcare (47), education (49), economy (44), opportunity (50), infrastructure (44), crime (48), fiscal stability (48) and quality of life (42). Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia and Alabama preceded Louisiana at the bottom.

Based solely on quality of life, California rated as the worst state in the nation. New Jersey (49), Indiana (48) and Texas (46) also received low marks in the category.

“At a time when the federal government is attempting to hand more responsibility for spending and policymaking to the states, these rankings offer the first comprehensive view, state by state, of how some states already are performing best,” the report said.

The top-rated states for the other categories are Hawaii (healthcare), Massachusetts (education), Colorado (economy), New Hampshire (opportunity), Maine (crime), Utah (fiscal stability) and North Dakota (quality of life).


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