Iowa—a Midwest farm state in the heart of the U.S. and host of the winter caucuses—takes first place in U.S. News’ recent Best States Ranking, which judges how well states perform in serving their citizens’ needs. The study takes into account health care; education; opportunities; the state’s economy; infrastructure; crime and correction; fiscal stability; and quality of life. Iowa scored highly in infrastructure and healthcare, which are among the the top priorities of the general public.
Minnesota takes second place behind Iowa, as it ranked highly in terms of quality of life and opportunity for its citizens—ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. The remaining states that comprise the Top 10 states include Utah; North Dakota; New Hampshire; Washington; Nebraska; Massachusetts; Vermont; and Colorado.
The following states ranked No.1 by category:
- Hawaii for Health Care, including access, affordability, quality and health outcomes for citizens;
- Massachusetts for Education, which considers preschool, grades K-12 and higher education;
- Colorado for Economy, tracking unemployment rates, GDP growth, migration, new businesses and more;
- New Hampshire for Opportunity, which measures poverty, housing affordability, and equality for women and minorities;
- Iowa for Infrastructure, including quality of bridges, public transport, power grids and broadband;
- Maine for Crime & Corrections, based on public safety and fairness and quality of prison systems;
- Utah for Fiscal Stability, which tracks government credit ratings, liquidity, pension fund liability and more; and
- North Dakota for Quality of Life, including air quality, level of pollution, voter participation and social support.
The data provided by this report is meant to assist the federal government as it makes important decisions on how much responsibility to give states in deciding upon spending and policy making. This comprehensive list is an invaluable resource for state trends and developments. It is especially useful in understanding the strengths of each state and spotting areas they can improve upon to better accommodate their citizens’ needs.
Click here to view the full report.