Colorado ranked surprisingly low in US News & World Report’s “best states” list


Many Colorado residents may be quick to argue that it would be hard to find a better place to live in the United States. That being said, US News and World Report analyzed the numbers on more than 70 different metrics and the Centennial State ranked surprisingly low among the “best states” nationally.

Washington. Minnesota. Utah. New Hampshire. Idaho. Nebraska. Virginia. Wisconsin. Massachusetts. Florida. Vermont. Iowa. North Carolina. North Dakota. South Dakota.

All of these states ranked above Colorado’s 16th place in popular “best states” rankings which considered aspects of life including health care, education, economy, infrastructure, opportunity, fiscal stability, crime and corrections, and the natural environment.

Colorado ranked best in the economy category – 2nd place and behind only Utah, which placed 3rd overall. Colorado also ranked admirably 5th in education and 10th in health care.

Less notable were the state’s 15th in infrastructure and 23rd in natural environment — and it goes downhill from there.

Although it may come as a surprise to some, Colorado ranked in the bottom 10 nationally in opportunity (41st), crime and corrections (41st), and fiscal stability (45th). The low fiscal stability ranking considers factors such as asset liquidity and government fiscal balance, with short-term fiscal stability ranking even lower nationally at 46th.

In the “opportunity” data category, the state ranked 10th in economic opportunity, but the overall ranking in this category fell to 41st thanks to a 43rd place in affordability and a 46th place in terms of equality.

It should be noted that Colorado ranked 1st nationally in employment – ​​a metric that factored into the state’s high economic ranking. The state also ranked in the top 10 for pollution (9th), but its overall “natural environment” ranking was reduced by a low 41st place for air and water quality ( with 124 annual days of poor air quality against a national average of 104).

But we all know the common saying – beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Many Coloradans are likely in Colorado because they appreciate the importance of outdoor recreation and a healthy lifestyle in many categories that have dropped the state in this national ranking that took into account a very wide range of factors encompassing many other aspects of life. Places like Nebraska, North Dakota, and Iowa might rank higher overall, but good luck finding huge local mountains to climb – you can’t, it’s impossible.

Nationally, Washington was ranked the best place to live, and Louisiana was ranked the worst, followed by Mississippi, then New Mexico.

Do you think this ranking is an accurate picture of life in Colorado? Let us know in the comments.

See the full 2022 standings and more details here.

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