Many Coloradans can be quick to claim that it would be hard to find a better place to live in the United States. That being said, US News and World Report crunched the numbers across more than 70 different metrics and the Centennial State ranked surprisingly low as a 'best state' nationwide.
Washington. Minnesota. Utah. New Hampshire. Idaho. Nebraska. Virginia. Wisconsin. Massachusetts. Florida. Vermont. Iowa. North Carolina. North Dakota. South Dakota.
All of those states ranked above Colorado's 16th-place spot in the popular 'best states' ranking that considered aspects of life including health care, education, economy, infrastructure, opportunity, fiscal stability, crime & corrections, and natural environment.
Colorado ranked the best in the economy category – 2nd place and behind only Utah, which ranked 3rd overall. Colorado also ranked an admirable 5th in education and 10th in health care.
Less noteworthy were the state's 15th place ranking in infrastructure and 23rd place ranking in natural environment – and it goes downhill from there.
Though it's likely to surprise some, Colorado ranked in the bottom 10 nationwide in terms of opportunity (41st), crime & corrections (41st), and fiscal stability (45th). The low rank of fiscal stability considered factors like liquidity of assets and the state's budget balancing, with short term fiscal stability ranking even lower on a national level at 46th.
In the 'opportunity' data category, the state ranked 10th when it came to economic opportunity, but the overall ranking in this category dropped to 41st thanks to a 43rd place ranking in terms of affordability and a 46th place ranking in terms of equality.
It is worth noting that Colorado ranked 1st nationally when it came to employment – a metric that factored into the state's high economy ranking. The state also ranked in the top 10 in terms of pollution (9th), but its overall 'natural environment' ranking was brought down by a low 41st place ranking when it came to air and water quality (with 124 annual days of unhealthy air quality compared to 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 value the importance of outdoor recreation and a healthy lifestyle over many of the categories that brought the state down in this national ranking that considered a very wide range of factors encompassing many other aspects of life. Places like Nebraska, North Dakota, and Iowa might rank better overall, but good luck finding massive local mountains to climb there – you can't, it's impossible.
Nationwide, Washington was ranked as the best place to live and Louisiana was ranked as the worst, followed by Mississippi, and 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 ranking and more detail here.
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