Its been a good year for California if the oft-quoted “best-state” rankings by U.S. News & World Report mean anything.
The states robust economy, alluring environment and high-quality healthcare helped it score a No. 19 overall ranking among the states. The annual report weighs various measurements of economic and demographic performance in eight categories that are deemed key to higher livability.
No. 1 for overall quality of life on this scorecard was Washington followed by New Hampshire and Minnesota. Worst? Louisiana, then Alabama and Mississippi.
It was a noteworthy upgrade for California that a year ago was ranked 31st by this yardstick. The 12-position rise in the standings was third biggest improvement among the states, behind Georgia (No. 17 from 32nd a year ago) and Virginia (No. 7 from 20th). Biggest drop? Iowa, No. 14 from a year agos “best” state honors!
Californias latest grade is somewhat in line with state rankings done by the Gallup polling firm. Its annual “Well-Being Index” — based on its continual surveys of American attitudes — scored California 14th best. Thats the same rank as 2017 — but the lowest since 2013.
So how did California buff up its score in the U.S. News math? Heres a look at how the state fared in the individual category rankings, listed from Californias highest-scoring qualities to its most-challenging traits ….
Economy, ranked No. 4: Fueled by the states scoring of the nations best business environment, according to U.S. News. Trailed only Colorado, Utah, and Washington. Worst? West Virginia, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Environment, No. 5: Aided by low pollution levels. Tops: Rhode Island, South Dakota, and Minnesota. Worst? Louisiana, Utah, and Indiana.
Healthcare, No. 7: Having the highest-ranked public health system helped. Tops: Hawaii, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. Worst? Mississippi, Arkansas, and West Virginia.
Education, No. 21: Californias well-regarded higher-education system was a big plus. Tops: Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Florida. Worst? Alabama, New Mexico, and Louisiana.
Crime, No. 23: U.S. News cited an above-average corrections system. Tops: New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine. Worst? Louisiana, New Mexico, and Alaska.
Infrastructure, No. 32: Blame the states crummy roads! Tops: Oregon, Washington, and Utah. Worst? West Virginia, Rhode Island, and Louisiana.
Fiscal stability, No. 42: Shaky state finances hurt. Tops: Tennessee, Florida, and South Dakota. Worst? Illinois, New Jersey, and Alaska.
Opportunity, No. 49: High cost of living translated to a next-to-worst ranking behind only Louisiana. No. 1 was New Hampshire then Iowa, and Minnesota.
PS: With presidential politics in the air, my trusty spreadsheet tells me that BlRead More – Source