U.S. News & World Report Has Named The Best State In The Country

Are you surprised by this?

U.S. News & World Report has declared Washington the best state in all of the United States. To rank all 50 states in the nation, the publication analyzed a number of factors, including each state’s economy, public safety, fiscal stability of the state government, crime, opportunity offered to citizens, health care, education and natural environment, as well as infrastructure, including roads, bridges and internet. In all, 71 metrics were considered.

puget sound photo
Getty Images | Ezra Shaw

Based on a survey of what matters most to people, some factors were weighted more heavily than others, with health care and education taking the top spots. In addition to its strong scores in these categories, Washington also gets points for its stunning natural beauty. Between mountains, deserts, rainforests and the Pacific coastline, there’s a little something for everyone.

The state is home to a number of major U.S. companies, including Boeing, Microsoft and Starbucks. It generates 70 percent of the country’s apples and is a major exporter of transportation equipment, making for a strong state economy.

seattle starbucks photo
Getty Images | Stephen Brashear

Rounding out the top ten states following Washington, in order, are New Hampshire, Minnesota, Utah, Vermont, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Nebraska and Colorado. Hawaii snags the top spot in terms of healthcare, while Massachusetts is the best state for education.

On the other end of the spectrum, Louisiana came in dead last in the overall rankings. The state is plagued by health care problems, including a high rate of preventable hospital admissions, as well as a high crime rate, poor public education and environmental issues, including poor air quality, a high rate of environmental toxins and poor quality of drinking water.

Curious about how your state ranks? Head on over to U.S. News & World Report, where you can explore all the data with their interactive explorer tools. You can view a number of existing charts and even make your own.

How does your state stack up?