What is the best state to live in? If someone asks you what the best state to live in is, you’ll probably say your state or a state you’ve lived in before. If you ask your neighbor, a friend, or a relative, their answer may be different. Everyone has a different opinion of the best states based on different factors. One person may like one state because it isn’t densely populated. Someone else may enjoy another state because of its weather. Because we all have opinions on what makes something the “best,” it’s hard to determine what state is the best to live in.
However, some publications and organizations have done their research, looked at various factors, and have created lists of the best states in the United States. One of the most comprehensive records is the Best States Ranking by U.S. News & World Report.
This list looks at multiple points of data to determine the best states in the nation. Health Care, Education, Economy, Infrastructure, Opportunity, Fiscal Stability, Crime & Corrections, and Natural Environment are the primary metrics used to determine the best states to live in. Based on these metrics, the best states in the United States are Washington, New Hampshire, and Minnesota. On the opposite end, the worst states to live in are Lousiana, Alabama, and Mississippi.
The full methodology used to determine the best states can be found here.
Here is a list of the top ten best states to live in the United States:
Washington state ranks first as the best state to live in. Washington ranked fourth for Health and Education, third for the Economy, and second for Infrastructure. Additionally, residents won’t pay state income tax, enjoy a thriving job market and global business relationships, and have many higher education opportunities. Washington is also one of the most environmentally-friendly states and has beautiful scenery to match.
2. New Hampshire
New Hampshire is the second-best state to live in in the United States. New Hampshire ranks first for Opportunity and Crime & Corrections and fourth for the Natural Environment, and fifth for Education. New Hampshire is one of the safest and healthiest states in America. The job market is strong, specifically in Portsmouth, where one of the lowest unemployment rates out of 372 metropolitan areas in the United States has been rated among the 50 best job markets.
Minnesota is the third best state to live in. Minnesota ranks third for Natural Environment and Opportunity. Minnesota has a strong economy and the affordability to live and play in a state full of art, culture, and entertainment. Minnesota’s busy big cities are among the cleanest and greenest in the nation, coupled with some of the friendliest people.
The fourth-best state to live in is Utah. Utah ranks second for the Economy, third for Infrastructure, and fifth for Fiscal Stability. Utah residents enjoy a high quality of life and low crime rates, as well as a beautiful landscape with five of America’s national parks. Utah is also more affordable than its neighbor state, Colorado.
Vermont ranks as the fifth-best state in America. Vermont ranks second for crime & correction, seventh for the natural environment, and eighth for education. Residents enjoy a high quality of life and friendly neighbors and are surrounded by a pristine environment. Outdoor enthusiasts, skiers, and snowboarders will find Vermont to be a paradise.
The sixth-best state in America to live in is Maryland. Situated right next to the nation’s capital, Maryland allows residents all the perks of Washington D.C. without the expensive cost of living. Maryland’s economy is continually one of the strongest in the nation. The state is home to some of the best hospitals, including John Hopkins Hospital, the number one hospital for 21 years on U.S. News & World Report’s annual list.
Virginia is the seventh-best state in America. Northern Virginia is also right near Washington D.C., giving residents access to the jobs and attractions there. Virginia itself also has a strong job market and a highly educated population, ranking seventh for Education. Virginia has beautiful natural environments, sizable cities, and small towns to fit a wide range of preferences.
Massachusetts is the eighth-best state to live in. Massachusetts ranks first for Education, second for Health Care, and fourth for Crime & Corrections. Massachusetts has some of the best universities globally, including Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Northeastern, Boston College, and more. Massachusetts has a diverse, booming economy and is home to some of the best hospitals, such as Massachusetts General Hospital and Boston’s Children’s Hospital. The state is also rich in culture and history.
Nebraska ranks as the ninth-best state in America. Nebraska ranks sixth for Education and seventh for Fiscal Stability. Nebraska has one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country and is home to five Fortune 500 companies. Nebraska is one of the most affordable states in America, including health care that is less expensive than the national average. Nebraska has its fair share of farmland and scenery, as well as populated large towns and cities.
The tenth-best state to live in is Colorado. Colorado ranks first for the Economy. Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs are all cities with diverse economies and plenty of opportunities. Residents have access to big mountains for skiing and vast wildlife to explore in addition to booming cities. Colorado residents are among the healthiest in the United States, with the country's lowest obesity rate.