Each year, U.S. News & World Report surveys over 50,000 Americans in order to rank all U.S. states across 71 metrics in eight categories: crime and corrections, economy, education, environment, fiscal stability, healthcare, infrastructure and opportunity.
U.S. News ranks each state from one to 50 — with one being the best and 50 being the worst — across each of these eight categories and then uses a weighed average to create a final ranking of the best places to live in the country.
The resulting Best States of 2019 list reflects the states that offer residents public safety and just corrections programs, strong employment and growth, high-quality public education, clean air and water, long and short-term financial stability, access to high-quality healthcare as well as robust energy, internet and transportation infrastructure. U.S. News also calculated opportunity based on variables like cost of living and economic equality.
Here is are the top five states on U.S. News' Best States of 2019 ranking:
Crime and corrections: 2
Fiscal stability: 19
Crime and corrections: 12
Fiscal stability: 5
Crime and corrections: 16
Fiscal stability: 25
Crime and corrections: 1
Fiscal stability: 10
Crime and corrections: 15
Fiscal stability: 22
For the first time ever, Washington came in first on U.S. News' list. "This confirms what we, in Washington have always known," Governor Jay Inslee tells U.S. News, "that our state is great for businesses, workers, and investments, coupled with natural beauty and innovative, creative people."
Washington is home to companies like Amazon, Microsoft and Boeing and also received top-five rankings for economy and infrastructure as well as education and healthcare — two issues that Inslee, who on March 1st announced that would be seeking the Democratic nomination for President, has prioritized since he took office in 2013.
Today, The University of Washington is considered one of the top research universities in the world and on Monday, Inslee signed legislation that made Washington the first state in the country to enter the private health insurance market by offering a universally available public option.
New Hampshire followed Washington as the number two best place to live in 2019, thanks to top marks for economic opportunity, environment and education. Minnesota, Utah and Vermont round out the top five spots.
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