Each year, U.S. News ranks the 50 US states on eight social and economic categories to determine an overall competitive ranking. This year, it seems that California finished dead last among US states in terms of quality of life, right behind New Jersey (49th) and Indiana (48th).
The state of California received an overall score of 32 this year, a score which was extrapolated from a number of sub-category rankings. California scored an 11 for Health Care, 26 for Education, 4 for Economy, 46 for Opportunity, 38 for Infrastructure, 28 for Crime and Corrections, 43 for Fiscal Stability, and 50 for Quality of Life.
These metrics were weighted based on the answers of over 30 thousand participants.
While the Golden States finished last in terms of quality of life, its overall score puts it at 32.
“In addition to a healthy environment, a person’s quality of life is largely a result of their interactions with those around them,” U.S. News wrote.
According to the news outlet, past studies have established that people experience greater happiness, and improved physical and mental health when they feel socially supported.
The Golden State’s biggest shortcoming was its high cost of living, despite having the largest economy in the U.S. California ranked 44th in natural environment and 47th in social environment.
Natural environment measured pollution, industrial toxins, drinking water quality, and air quality. The state ranked 13th in when it came to drinking water quality, however, it had worse scores for urban air quality and pollution health risks.
Social environment dealt with community engagement, voter participation, and social support. Here, California was at the other end of the spectrum in all areas.
Overall California, ranked well behind New York (25th), New Jersey (19th), and Florida (15th).
The state of Iowa scored the most points in infrastructure and health care, taking the top spot overall.
Image Source: WikipediaCommons