Bay State Among the Best, Not ‘The’ Best

By Colin A. Young

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Massachusetts, feted last year as the best state in the union per U.S. News & World Report, this year has dropped to eighth on the list of “best states.”

In the new list, Massachusetts is not even the best state in New England, an honor that this year goes to New Hampshire.

Massachusetts was surpassed in this year’s rankings based on more than 75 metrics by, in order, Iowa, Minnesota, Utah, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Washington and Nebraska. Vermont and Colorado round out this year’s top 10.

In 2017, the Bay State’s supreme billing was propelled by a number one ranking in education and number two in health care, two metrics that were given the most weight by analysts at U.S. News & World Report based on a survey of what matters most to people.

Massachusetts held on to the top ranking in education but slipped to fifth in health care – Iowa was third in health care, behind Hawaii and Washington.

The state also landed near the bottom of the state rankings for affordability (47th), infrastructure (45th), transportation (42nd), and fiscal stability (40th). The quality of life in Massachusetts was rated in the middle of the pack, 25th.

The U.S. News & World Report rankings are based on 77 metrics across eight categories, each weighted based on the average of two years of data from an annual national survey that asked more than 30,000 people to prioritize the eight categories in their states.

The categories and Massachusetts’ ranking in each are: health care (5th), education (1st), economy (9th), opportunity (14th), infrastructure (45th), crime and corrections (5th), fiscal stability (40th) and quality of life (25th).

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