Our Quality of Life category in America's Top States for Business rates the states on several metrics of livability, including crime rates, local attractions, health, environmental quality and inclusiveness. The category accounts for 325 of our 2,500 total possible points. See the complete Top States coverage and read about our methodology here. These are the top 10 states in which to call home.
—By CNBC's Scott Cohn
Posted 24 June 2015
The Hawkeye State offers the best of the heartland, including a low crime rate and a clean environment. Antidiscrimination protections are strong, making this an inclusive state.
Residents of the Centennial State are healthy, and with a strong economy, they are wealthy, too. The state has a well-earned reputation for inclusiveness, not to mention an abundance of natural beauty.
From the Berkshires to Boston and the Cape, The Bay State offers something for everyone. The population is healthy, and the state has a heritage of inclusiveness that dates back to the Revolution.
With 29 designated scenic byways, the beauty of Seattle and Puget Sound and the majesty of Mount Rainier, you may never run out of things to see in the Evergreen State. The environment is clean, and despite its reputation, Seattle gets less annual rainfall than Miami.
Staying in the Pacific Northwest, the Beaver State is a welcoming place, with a clean environment and low crime rate. Oregonians are a healthy bunch as well, with low instances of cardiovascular disease.
The Pine Tree State has the second lowest crime rate in the nation, and strong antidiscrimination laws. The environment is about as good as it gets, and Mainers are healthy. The state is also one of the best at caring for seniors.
Yet another New England state ranks high—quality of life is solid in the Granite State. The crime rate is low, the environment is clean, and residents are healthy. But like some of its neighbors, the state could use some more things to do.
Residents of the North Star State pride themselves on being nice, which helps explain why this is such a livable state year after year. Maybe it's the rough winters, maybe it's the renowned Mayo Clinic, but Minnesotans are a hardy bunch—this is one of the healthiest states. From the cosmopolitan Twin Cities to the rugged North Woods, the state has something for just about everyone.
Sealing New England's dominance in this category, the Green Mountain State reveals the nation's lowest violent crime rate. Vermonters are in excellent health, fit and trim. The environment is pristine, and the state is welcoming and inclusive.
The Aloha State achieves a near-perfect Quality of Life score, with the nation's healthiest population and the cleanest environment. Residents are protected by strong antidiscrimination laws, and you may never run out of things to see and do.
- 2015 Quality of Life score: 310 out of 325
- Strengths: environment, health, inclusiveness
- Weakness (relative): crime
- 2014 Quality of Life rank: No. 1