US News and World Report- The State of Being #1

What is the best state in the country?

According to a new series of rankings released by U.S. News and World Report, that title actually belongs to Massachusetts. Yep, It looks like we’ve been right all along.

The inaugural rankings were compiled by evaluating all 50 states across a range of criteria from education and healthcare to infrastructure and the economy. The rankings were developed using McKinsey and Company’s “Leading States Index,” which combines thousands of data points across 68 specific metrics.

After Massachusetts, the best states are our northern neighbor New Hampshire, followed by Minnesota, North Dakota and Washington.

The 68 metrics in the “Leading States Index” were separated into 20 groups, which were further arranged into the following seven categories: Health Care; Education; Infrastructure; Crime and Corrections; Opportunity; Economy; Government.

All categories were weighted based on a national survey that asked people to prioritize seven categories in their state, such as education, crime and others in the order of most important and least important. Health care and education received the highest weightings nationwide — and were the two best showings for the Bay State.

In the seven categories, Massachusetts is No. 1 in education, Hawaii is No. 1 in health care, Oregon is No. 1 in infrastructure, Vermont is No. 1 in crime and corrections, New Hampshire is No. 1 in opportunity, Colorado is No. 1 in economy and Indiana ranks No. 1 for government.

So why is Massachusetts the best? Here’s how the Bay State ranked across all seven categories:

Health Care: 2
Education: 1
Infrastructure: 19
Crime and Corrections: 7
Opportunity: 16
Economy: 5
Government: 15

How did we rank so high in some of the major categories?

Well for health care, we are No. 1 in health care enrollment and child wellness visits, No. 2 in adult dental visits and medicare quality and No. 3 in adult wellness visits, low infant mortality rate and low suicide rate.

For education, we are No. 1 in educational attainment, college readiness, NAEP math scores, No. 2 in NAEP reading scores and No. 3 in preschool enrollment.

We were No. 2 in patent creation and No. 3 in low unemployment rate, leading to a strong showing in economy.

And for infrastructure, where we ranked just 19th, we are No. 1 in the all- important Internet Access category, thanks to a second-place showing in online download speed and third-place showing in households with internet access.

NOTE: The data was pulled from various sources, with government data being favored over other sources due to its reliability.

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