What defines the worst state to live in? Is it a high crime rate, high poverty rate, lack of jobs, or something else? Some people may view a state with few urban areas and a low population as the worst state to live in. Others may classify a densely populated state with a high cost of living as the worst.
As you can see, there's not just one defining factor that makes a state a lousy place to live. However, some organizations and publications created lists based on various factors that give an overview of the worst states in the U.S. to live in. For example, the U.S. News & World Report has its Overall Best States Rankings. This report looks at factors including education, health care, the economy, opportunities, quality of life, infrastructure, and public safety. The report gives weight to certain elements over others based on what matters most to citizens. For example, health care and education hold the most weight, as these are factors that are most important to U.S. citizens.
Based on the survey, Louisiana was ranked as the worst state to live in.
Louisiana ranked worst in the nation for the Opportunity, Crime & Corrections, and Natural Environment. Following Louisiana is Alabama, ranking 50th for Education, and Mississippi, ranking 50th for healthcare.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the ten worst U.S. states are:
- West Virginia
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
Below is U.S. News & World Report's ranking for each state and each state's score in each category.