Deciding ~ above a ar to speak to home have the right to be a challenging process. You’ll must balance things prefer the price of life with job opportunities, quality of education and also safety. An individual preference additionally comes into the equation, together you’ll want to live somewhere with the species of attractions, entertain opportunities and also weather that suit you. Luckily, yes sir 50 states to pick from, indigenous frigid Alaska to sunny Florida. Each has its own benefits and drawbacks.

You are watching: Best and worst states to live in

If you execute the math, some states clearly outshine others in various categories. To find out the finest states come live, compared the 50 states based upon 52 crucial indicators that livability. They variety from real estate costs and income growth to education and learning rate and also quality of hospitals.

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Main FindingsAsk the ExpertsMethodology

Main Findings

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Top claims to Live in

Overall Rank


Total Score



Education & Health

Quality of Life


1New Jersey63.014932571
3New York61.6347331812
8New Hampshire59.594046353
15North Dakota57.52281173819
17South Dakota56.85233284215
28North Carolina52.171924341933
36Rhode Island50.184836244311
40West Virginia48.14245444622
46South Carolina44.521331463648
50New Mexico38.962548472850

Note: through the exception of “Total Score,” every one of the columns in the table above depict the loved one rank of the state, whereby a rank of 1 represents the ideal conditions for that metric category.

Matthias HoelzleinAssistant Professor, department of business economics – college of Notre Dame review More
Malcolm GetzProfessor of Economics, Emeritus, university of Arts and also Sciences – Vanderbilt University read More
Mark PartridgePh.D. – Professor, department of Agricultural, Environment, and advancement Economics, Swank Chair in Rural-Urban Policy, university of Food, Agricultural, and also Environmental Sciences read More


In stimulate to determine the best and worst claims to live in, contrasted the 50 states across five crucial dimensions: 1) Affordability, 2) Economy, 3) education & Health, 4) top quality of Life, and 5) Safety.

We evaluated those dimensions utilizing 52 pertinent metrics, i m sorry are noted below with their corresponding weights. Every metric to be graded on a 100-point scale, through a score of 100 representing the many favorable life conditions. For metrics significant with one asterisk (*), the square root of the populace was provided to calculation the populace size in bespeak to protect against overcompensating because that minor differences across states.

Finally, we established each state’s weight average across all metrics to calculation its as whole score and also used the result scores come rank-order the states.

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Affordability - full Points: 20

Housing Affordability: full Weight (~2.22 Points)Note: This composite metric comprises the following calculations: Median house Price / Median yearly Household Income and also Median rental Price / Median annual Household Income.Median yearly Property Taxes: double Weight (~4.44 Points)Note: This metric to be calculated together follows: mean Real Estate taxation / Median home Price.Cost that Living: Quadruple weight (~8.89 Points)Median annual Household Income: full Weight (~2.22 Points)Homeownership Rate: complete Weight (~2.22 Points)

Economy - total Points: 20

Unemployment Rate: full Weight (~0.91 Points)Underemployment Rate: full Weight (~0.91 Points)Economic trust Index: complete Weight (~0.91 Points)Note: Gallup"s U.S. Financial Confidence index is the median of 2 components: 1) just how Americans rate existing economic conditions and also 2) whether they feeling the economic climate is boosting or acquiring worse. The index has a theoretical best of +100 if all Americans were to say the economic situation is act well and improving, and also a theoretical minimum the -100 if every were to say the economic situation is doing poorly and also getting worse.Share of populace Living in Poverty: complete Weight (~0.91 Points)Median blame per average Earnings: Triple load (~2.73 Points)Population Growth: complete Weight (~0.91 Points)Note: “Growth” compares the population size in 2019 versus in 2015.Income Growth: complete Weight (~0.91 Points)Note: “Growth” compares the median yearly household income number in 2019 versus in 2015.Building-Permit Growth: full Weight (~0.91 Points)Note: This metric compares the variety of annual new, privately own residential structure permits issued between 2018 and also 2020.Wealth Gap: full Weight (~0.91 Points)Note: This metric steps the difference in between the highest quintile and also the lowest quintile of mean household income.Job Opportunities: complete Weight (~0.91 Points)Foreclosure Rate: twin Weight (~1.82 Points)Bankruptcy Rate: complete Weight (~0.91 Points)Food Insecurity: complete Weight (~0.91 Points)

Education & health - full Points: 20

High school Graduation Rate: double Weight (~3.48 Points)Share of populace Aged 25 & Older through a High institution Diploma or Higher: complete Weight (~1.74 Points)Share of Insured Population: complete Weight (~1.74 Points)Quality of public Hospital System: complete Weight (~1.74 Points)Note: This metric is based on the Centers because that Medicare & medicaid Services’ ranking of windy hospital systems.Premature-Death Rate: half Weight (~0.87 Points)Note: This metric actions the “Average year of Potential Life Lost” rate. In other words, it refers to the average number of years a person dies before the age of 75. Bad or same Health: half Weight (~0.87 Points)Life Expectancy: complete Weight (~1.74 Points)Share of Live Births with Low Birthweight: half Weight (~0.87 Points)Share of Obese Adults: dual Weight (~3.48 Points)Share of Physically Inactive Adults: complete Weight (~1.74 Points)

Quality the Life - full Points: 20

Average Hours functioned per Week: full Weight (~0.93 Points)Average Commute Time (in Minutes): complete Weight (~0.93 Points)Miles that Trails because that Bicycling & wade per total State land Area: full Weight (~0.93 Points)“Bicycle familiar State” Ranking (proxy because that Bike Score): full Weight (~0.93 Points)Note: The ranking for each state is based top top a load score based ~ above the state’s score in every of the 6 categories provided on the Report Card. The weighted group scores space supplemented through discretionary scoring the accounts because that 10% of every state’s potential score. They incorporate discretionary scoring come account because that erroneous inspection data, claims with missing data, and also other factors that do not easily fit within the inspection data and also public data offered for the classification scores.oInfrastructure & capital – 20%oEducation & encouragement – 15%oLegislation & Enforcement – 15%oPolicies & programs – 20%oEvaluation & plan – 20%oDiscretionary Scoring – 10%Access come Public Transportation: double Weight (~1.86 Points)Note: This metric procedures the re-publishing of commuters who usage public transit.Quality that Roads: full Weight (~0.93 Points)Note: This metric steps the share of pavement in negative condition.Traffic Congestion: dual Weight (~1.86 Points)Restaurants every Capita*: dual Weight (~1.86 Points)Bars every Capita*: complete Weight (~0.93 Points)Museums every Capita*: full Weight (~0.93 Points)Performing arts Centers per Capita*: complete Weight (~0.93 Points)Movie Theaters every Capita*: half Weight (~0.47 Points)Fitness Centers per Capita*: dual Weight (~1.86 Points)Accessibility the Beaches: complete Weight (~0.93 Points)Note: written metric: includes variety of beaches every capita (sqrt the pop) and also average length of beaches.Air Quality: complete Weight (~0.93 Points)

Safety - full Points: 20

Violent-Crime Rate: complete Weight (~3.64 Points)Property-Crime Rate: dual Weight (~7.27 Points)Traffic-related Fatalities per Capita: fifty percent Weight (~1.82 Points)Total Law-Enforcement Employees per Capita: double Weight (~7.27 Points)

Sources: Data supplied to create this ranking were obtained from the U.S. Census Bureau, bureau of job Statistics, commonwealth Bureau of Investigation, Centers for disease Control and also Prevention, Council because that Community and Economic Research, administrative Office of the U.S. Courts, United health Foundation, National center for education Statistics, American medical Association, TransUnion, Indeed, Centers because that Medicare & medicaid Services, insurance Institute because that Highway Safety, Highway lose Data Institute, The Road details Program, Gallup, Inc., Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Feeding America, eco-friendly Protection Agency, league of American Bicyclists, Renwood RealtyTrac and research.