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Top States for Quality of Life

The best places to do business are also the best places to live. At least that’s how many states market themselves to the public. CNBC’s Top States for Business study found quality of life is among the most frequently mentioned selling points in state economic development campaigns. That’s why quality of life is one of the most important categories in our study of America’s Top States for Business, worth 350 out of 2,500 possible points.

Sure, quality of life is in the eye of the beholder. Some people would rather live in the city; others prefer the country. Some love sunshine year round, others like four seasons. But there are plenty of objective measures most of us can agree on when it comes to a quality place to live.

We scored the states on several factors, including local attractions, the crime rate, as well as air and water quality and pollution. We looked at access to recreational areas. And we looked at health care including facilities, insurance coverage and outcomes.

Because the quality of life category carries such heavy weight in our study — tied with cost of doing business and workforce as the top-weighted category — states that do well here have a big jump on the competition.

Here are our 10 top states for quality of life.

By Scott Cohn
Posted 10 July 2012

Photo: Adam Hester | Brand X Pictures | Getty Images