We’re the best state. Period.
Of course, we Washingtonians knew that and now U.S. News & World Report agrees. At least that’s the finding of a study that came out earlier this year by the magazine, which ranks states based on outcomes for residents.
The report was based on more than 70 metrics, including access to health care, quality of education, public safety, the state’s economy, GDP growth, migration into the state, patents, new businesses, natural environment and infrastructure, which takes into account not only bridges and roads but also broadband and power grids.
Overall, Washington came in first, placing fourth in health care, fourth in education, third in economy, second in infrastructure, 14th in natural environment (which tracks air and water quality, among other things,) 15th in terms of crime and public safety, and 19th in opportunity — which measures poverty, housing affordability and equality for women, minorities and people with disabilities.
We are in 22nd place, our lowest ranking, when it comes to fiscal stability of local and state government, the report found.
According to U.S. News & World Report, the findings were drawn from “extensive and reliable governmental and private sources” as well as proprietary data including a national survey of what matters most to residents around the country.
The news magazine said in its explanation about the rankings that an index score was created for each metric in each state, with the state that performed the best in each particular metric given 100 points and the state that performed worst was given zero points. States between these were indexed proportionally, the writers said. Raw data was translated to index scores and averaged to determine category scores and rankings.
Rounding out the top 10 are New Hampshire in second place, followed by Minnesota, Utah, Vermont, Maryland, Virginia, Massachusetts, Nebraska and Colorado in that order.
At the very bottom of the rankings are Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, with Louisiana coming in dead last.