If you’re a fan of Starbucks coffee, fresh fish, MLS soccer, and David Lynch TV Dramas, you’re going to be a BIG fan of this announcement!
The U.S. News & World Report (henceforth, just U.S. News) ranking of all of America’s fifty states is out, and the top spot this year goes to Washington.
U.S. News ranks states based on a bevy of categories, including health care, education, economy, and natural environment. Washington was top half across the board, but did especially well in those first three categories, and took home the top spot, knocking off Iowa, who had taken home the honor last year.
Rounding out the top five are New Hampshire, Minnesota, Utah, and Vermont (presumably based entirely on its supply of maple syrup, but that could not be confirmed by the time of this writing). Maryland, which has a small town called Unicorn, was next at sixth. But apparently that doesn’t merit much consideration, because Pennsylvania, the other U.S. state to already name a city after us, is all the way down at 41 (more’s the pity).
The rest of the bottom ten feature some surprising names. South Carolina fell at 42 (I guess they haven’t been the same since Steve Spurrier left) and Louisiana was dead last on the list at number 50. I, for one, spent the weekend in New Orleans, and it was delightful. Eric Gertler, the executive chairman at U.S. News, explained why their list is so important:
“As people are increasingly concerned about income disparities, rising health care costs, gaps in education and crumbling infrastructure, it’s more important than ever to focus on the day-to-day policies that affect people where they live their lives. This is where the U.S. News Best States project is vital. In conjunction with objective data and trusted journalism on state performance, the rankings fills the gap in local reporting for the benefit of residents, business leaders, decision-makers and government officials.”
The data here is truly incredible, and it’s worth getting your hands on, especially if you’re considering moving or changing jobs in the near future. It’s also valuable if you’re from a state like Missouri, and you want to dunk on the 22 states beneath you and remind people that you’re ranked ninth in “natural environment” (take that, Montana and Alaska!)
We may not spend a lot of time in our daily lives thinking about the state we live in, but it affects us more than we think. Give the list a look and let us know where your state ranks!