Washington topped the 2019 list of the best states in America, according to a new report.
Home to Amazon, Microsoft and Boeing, Washington is ranked number one for the first time since U.S. News & World Report began making the annual list three years ago.
‘This confirms what we, in Washington have always known, that our state is great for businesses, workers, and investments, coupled with natural beauty and innovative, creative people,’ Washington Governor Jay Inslee said. ‘I am pleased to share Washington’s success with the world.’
U.S. News & World Report evaluated all 50 states on various criteria, including education, health care, infrastructure and local economies.
Researchers used more than 70 metrics and tens of thousands of data points to reach their conclusions.
‘As people are increasingly concerned about income disparities, rising health care costs, gaps in education and crumbling infrastructure, it’s more important than ever to focus on the day-to-day policies that affect people where they live their lives,’ said Eric Gertler, executive chairman at U.S. News.
Washington’s booming economy ranked third in the country behind Colorado and Utah.
It also ranked second for infrastructure (behind Oregon) and fourth in health care (behind Hawaii, Massachusetts and Connecticut).
The state did less well on crime and corrections (ranked 15), fiscal stability (22) and the environment (14).
Overall, New Hampshire ranked second on the list of best states, thanks in large part to its number one rankings on crime and corrections and the overall opportunities available in that state.
New Hampshire also ranked fifth on education and fourth on the environment.
In third place was Minnesota, which ranked highly (third place) on opportunity and the environment, as well as sixth place on infrastructure.
Utah came in fourth place, largely due to its second-place rank economically and third-place spot for infrastructure.
Vermont ranked fifth overall, in large part due to ranking second on crime and corrections and in seventh place on the environment.
Maryland came in sixth place, with a fifth-place ranking for opportunity and eighth-place rank on health care.
Virginia came in seventh place, followed by Massachusetts, Nebraska and Colorado.
At the other end of the spectrum, Louisiana came in dead last, thanks to last-place rankings on crime and corrections, opportunity and the environment.
Alabama followed, in 49th place, with a last place ranking on education and 46th place ranking on health care.
Mississippi ranked 48th, after coming in 50th place on health care, 48th on the economy and 46th on education.
West Virginia followed, in 47th place, with a last place ranking on the economy and infrastructure.
Rounding out the bottom five was New Mexico, which ranked 49th on crime and corrections and education, and 48th on opportunities.
A national survey by U.S. News & World Report also found that 38 percent of Americans generally believe their state government is effective – with Massachusetts earning the highest score (64 percent).
At the other end of the spectrum, Illinois had the lowest ranking on government, with less than 11 percent of residents saying their government is effective.