Some states shine in health care. Some soar in education. Some excel in both – or in much more. The Best States rankings by U.S. News draw on thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their citizens. In addition to health care and education, the rankings take into account a state’s economy; its roads, bridges, internet and other infrastructure; its public safety; its natural environment; the fiscal stability of state government; and the opportunity it affords its residents.
More weight was accorded to some categories than others, based on a survey of what matters most to people. Health care and education were weighted most heavily. Then came state economies, infrastructure, and the opportunity states offer their citizens. Fiscal stability followed closely in weighting, followed by measures of crime and corrections and a state's natural environment.
See the overall Best States rankings below, and check out the Best States methodology for a detailed look at the data behind the Best States rankings.