Best States to Live In

Best & Worst States To Live In

Not all states are cut from the same cloth. Some excel in education, while others may be better at infrastructure. Since the Covid-19 hit, questions such as which state has the best healthcare system have been a hot topic of debate, but which are the most well-rounded? which come out on top as the best places to live in the U.S.? which ones are the worst?

Our latest data study set out to answer these questions by comparing the 50 states on 8 key dimensions: Affordability, Crime & Safety, Economy, Education, Healthcare, Infrastructure, Opportunity and Quality of Life. These dimensions were ranked using 76 relevant metrics.

Read on to find out which states are the safest, which have the best weather, or highest homeownership rate and much, much more.

Main Findings

Category Breakdown

Methology

In order to determine what are the best and worst states to live, TOP Data compared the 50 states across eight key dimensions:

1. Affordability

2. Crime & Safety

3. Economy

4. Education

5. Healthcare

6. Infrastructure

7. Opportunity

8. Quality of Life

We evaluated those dimensions using 76 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 being the max.

Finally, we determined each state’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.

Affordability (18 Points)

Grocery Cost: Regular Weight (1.8 Points)

Note: This metric represents the grocery cost index in Q3 2021.

Sales Tax Rate: Regular Weight (1.8 Points)

Note: This metric represents the combined state and local sales tax rates in 2021.

Utilities Cost: Half Weight (0.9 Points)

Note: This metric represents the utilities cost index in Q3 2021.

Transportation Cost: Half Weight (0.9 Points)

Note: This metric represents the transportation cost index in Q3 2021.

State Income Tax: Double Weight (3.6 Points)

Note: This metric represents the taxes paid by a single filer in 2021.

Median Home Value: Double Weight (3.6 Points)

Note: This metric represents the median home value in 2021.

House Insurance Cost: Regular Weight (1.8 Points)

Note: This metric represents the average rate of home insurance in 2022.

Car Insurance Cost: Half Weight (0.9 Points)

Note: This metric measures the average rate of car insurance premium in 2022.

Rent Cost: Regular Weight (1.8 Points)

Note: This metric measures the monthly average apartment rent in 2021.

Rental Insurance Cost: Half Weight (0.9 Points)

Note: This metric represents the average rate of rent insurance in 2022.

Crime & Safety (10 Points)

Motor Vehicular Theft and Damage Rate: Regular Weight (0.9 Points)

Note: This metric measures the reported motor vehicular theft and damage cases per 100K people in 2020.

Hate Crime Rate: Half Weight (0.4 Points)

Note: This metric measures the reported number of hate crime incidents per 100K people in 2020.

Burglary Rate: Double Weight (1.8 Points)

Note: This metric measures the reported burglary cases per 100K people in 2020.

Homicide Rate: Half Weight (0.4 Points)

Note: This metric measures the recorded number of homicides per 100K people in 2020.

Property Crime Rate: Double Weight (1.8 Points)

Note: This metric measures the rate of property crime cases per 100K people in 2020.

Robbery Rate: Half Weight (0.4 Points)

Note: This metric measures the rate of robberies per 100K people in 2020.

Fraud and Identity Theft Rate: Double Weight (1.8 Points)

Note: This metric measures the reported number of identity theft cases per 100K people in 2020.

Mass Shooting Casualty Rate: Half Weight (0.4 Points)

Note: This metric represents the fatality and injury rate per 100K people due to mass shootings from 2018 to 2022.

Number of Sex Offenders: Regular Weight (0.9 Points)

Note: This metric represents the number of registered sex offenders per 100K people as of 2021.

Fire Fatalities Rate: Half Weight (0.4 Points)

Note: This metric reflects the total number of registered fire fatalities per 100K people in 2019.

Fatal Motor Vehicle Crashes: Half Weight (0.4 Points)

Note: This metric represents the recorded driving fatalities per 100K people in 2019.

Economy (10 Points)

Unemployment Rate: Regular Weight (0.8 Points)

Note: This metric represents the rate of unemployed people in the labor force in Q4 2021.

New Business Creation: Regular Weight (0.8 Points)

Note: This metric reflects the number of business applications per 100K people submitted in 2021.

GDP Growth: Double Weight (1.6 Points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage change in GDP from 2020 to 2021.

Bankruptcy: Half Weight (0.4 Points)

Note: This metric represents the number of bankruptcy filings per 100K people in 2021.

Household Income: Double Weight (1.6 Points)

Note: This metric reflects the median household Income per capita in 2021.

Poverty Rate: Regular Weight (0.8 Points)

Note: This metric measures the rate of people in poverty from 2019 to 2020.

Pandemic Businesses Growth: Regular Weight (0.8 Points)

Note: This metric measures the change rate in business creation comparing 2019 vs 2021.

Innovation: Half Weight (0.4 Points)

Note: This metric represents the government R&D spending per capita in 2020.

Net Migration Rate: Double Weight (1.6 Points)

Note: This metric measures the cumulative change of domestic net migration per 100K people from April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021.

Building Permits: Regular Weight (0.8 Points)

Note: This metric reflects the number of building permits per 100K people from January to November, 2021.

Education (15 Points)

Students Safety: Regular Weight (2.5 Points)

Note: This metric is based on Scholaroo’s Safety Rankings that measures how safe a student is in a learning environment.

School Quality: Regular Weight (2.5 Points)

Note: This metric is based on Scholaroo’s School Quality Rankings that measures the holistic conditions of schools.

Students Success: Double Weight (5.0 Points)

Note: This metric is based on Scholaroo’s Success Rankings that measures how successful a student is in the educational environment.

Number of Colleges: Half Weight (1.2 Points)

Note: This metric represents  the number of Colleges/Universities per 100k people.

Number of Elementary Schools: Half Weight (1.2 Points)

Note: This metric represents  the number of elementary schools  per 100k people.

Number of Secondary Schools: Half Weight (1.2 Points)

Note: This metric measures the number of secondary schools per 100K people.

Number of High Schools: Half Weight (1.2 Points)

Note: This metric measures the number of high schools per 100K people.

Healthcare (10 Points)

Uninsured rate: Regular Weight (0.7 Points)

Note: This metric measures the rate of people with no health insurance in 2021.

Covid-19 Case Load: Double Weight (1.4 Points)

Note: This metric measures the total number of cases of Covid-19 per 100K people as of January 2021.

Covid-19 Vaccination Rate: Double Weight (1.4 Points)

Note: This metric measures the rate of fully vaccinated people as of January 2021.

Public Healthcare Spending: Regular Weight (0.7 Points)

Note: This metric measures the amount of state and federal dollars dedicated to public health spending per capita in 2021.

Number of Primary Care Physicians: Regular Weight (0.7 Points)

Note: This metric measures the number of active primary care providers per 100K people in 2021.

Obesity Rate: Half Weight (0.3 Points)

Note: This metric measures the prevalence of self-reported obesity in 2020.

Physical Inactivity Rate: Half Weight (0.3 Points)

Note: This metric measures the rate of adults who were physically inactive in 2020.

Ratio of Hospitals to People: Regular Weight (0.7 Points)

Note: This metric measures the number of people to pulation to the number of private and government hospital establishments in 2019.

Dental Visits Rate: Half Weight (0.3 Points)

Note: This metric measures the rate of adults who reported visiting a dentist or dental clinic in 2020.

Inhabitants with Chronic Diseases: Half Weight (0.3 Points)

Note: This metric measures the rate of adults who had three or more chronic health conditions in 2020.

Average Healthcare Cost: Double Weight (1.4 Points)

Note: This metric measures the healthcare cost per person in 2020.

Life Expectancy: Double Weight (1.4 Points)

Note: This metric measures the years of life expectancy at birth, 2020.

Infrastructure (7 Points)

Hazardous Dams: Half Weight (0.4 Points)

Note: This metric measures the number of hazard dams per 100K people in 2019.

Road Maintenance Budget: Half Weight (0.4 Points)

Note: This metric measures the maintenance disbursements per lane.

Number of Major Airports: Regular Weight (0.9 Points)

Note: This metric measures the number of major airports per capita.

Average Road Condition: Regular Weight (0.9 Points)

Note: This metric measures the number of roads with acceptable pavement ride quality based on the International Roughness Index in 2019.

Number of Electrical Complaints: Regular Weight (0.9 Points)

Note: This metric measures the number of electrical outages per 100K in 2021

Park Maintenance: Regular Weight (0.4 Points)

Note: This metric measures the amount of resources allocated to park maintenance per capita in 2018.

Structurally Deficient Bridges: Regular Weight (0.9 Points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of  bridges that are in poor condition in 2019.

Internet Speed: Double Weight (1.8 Points)

Note:  This metric measures the average download speed in Mbps in 2021.

Quality of Life (15 Points)

Air Quality: Regular Weight (1.8 Points)

Note: This metric measures the air quality index in 2021.

Weather: Double Weight (3.7 Points)

Note: This metric measures the rate of change in the climate of the highest and lowest temperatures in 2021.

Parks Rate: Regular Weight (1.8 Points)

Note: This metric measures the total percentage of state covered in state and national parks as of 2020.

Lakes and Beaches: Regular Weight (1.8 Points)

Note: This metric reflects the number of beaches and lakes per 100K people in each state.

Restaurant Operators: Half Weight (0.9 Points)

Note: This metric reflects the number of people employed in restaurants and related food services per 100K people.

Bartenders: Half Weight (0.9 Points)

Note: This metric reflects the number of people employed as bartenders and related drink services per 100K people.

Theatrical Artists: Half Weight (0.9 Points)

Note: This metric reflects the number of people employed as theatrical artists and related occupations per 100K people.

Movie Theaters: Half Weight (0.9 Points)

Note: This metric reflects the number of movie theaters per 100K people.

Bicycle Friendly States: Half Weight (1.8 Points)

Note: This metric represents the ranking of the states based on its bicycle related infrastructure.

Opportunity (20 Points)

Employment Ratio: Half Weight (0.6 Points)

Note: This metric measures the employment–population ratio of people 16 years and older in 2020.

Gender Wage Gap: Regular Weight (1.3 Points)

Note: This metric measures the median annual earnings ratio for full-time, year-round workers by gender in 2019.

Homeownership Rate: Regular Weight (1.3 Points)

Note: This metric measures the percentage of homeownership in 2021.

Projected Business Creation: Double Weight (2.6 Points)

Note: This metric represents the projected business formations within Eight Quarters per 100k people in 2021.

Small Businesses: Regular Weight (1.3 Points)

Note: This metric represents the number of small businesses per 100K people in 2021.

Start-Up Job Creation Rate: Double Weight (2.6 Points)

Note: This metric represents the number of net new jobs due to the creation of start-ups in 2020.

Diversity Rate: Regular Weight (1.3 Points)

Note: This metric represents the number of non-white small business owners in 2020.

Race Wage Gap: Regular Weight (1.3 Points)

Note: This metric represents the average wage disparities by race in 2020.

Corporate Tax: Double Weight (2.6 Points)

Note: This metric represents the corporate income tax rate in 2021.

Media Info

Report
Best States to Live In
Report URL
https://topagency.com/report/best-worst-states-to-live-in/
Author
TOP Data TOP Data delivers business, consumer, and marketing insights at the speed of breaking news. Learn more at topagency.com/data