Utah earns top state ranking once more in U.S. News & World Report

Utah has topped the list in U.S. News & World Report’s Best States rankings for a second straight year, with the Beehive State landing in the top 20 in seven out of eight statistical categories.

The ranking is based on states’ performance in health care, education, natural environment, opportunity, economy, crime and corrections, infrastructure and fiscal stability. 

Utah’s consistency across categories the rankings assessed helped it hold its position in the number one spot. Utah landed in the top 10 in five categories measured by U.S. News. Utah ranked second in education and was deemed third best in both economy and infrastructure. Utah ranked sixth best for in fiscal stability. 

In the category that assessed natural environment, Utah ranked poorly at #46. The two main factors that comprised the score were air and water quality and pollution, Utah was 41st and 44th respectively.

The rankings also looked at two factors for education, where Utah ranked second. In higher education, Utah was #1, and in the PreK-12 division Utah placed 10th.

These Are the 10 Best States in the U.S.

  1. Utah
  2. New Hampshire
  3.  Nebraska
  4. Minnesota
  5. Idaho
  6. Iowa
  7. Vermont
  8. Washington
  9. Florida
  10. Massachusetts

A common factor among the highest-ranking states was a relatively strong performance in categories containing various types of economic indicators. More than half of the top 10 states were among the top 20 performers in each of the economy, opportunity and fiscal stability categories.

“The state is known for its skiing, with the mountains near Salt Lake City collecting abundant snowfall, as well as for theSundance Film Festival, one of the world’s premiere independent film festivals, staged each January in Park City,” the report noted.

Political leanings, the report says, have less to do with excellence than some might expect.

“Broadly speaking, blue states – meaning those who voted for President Joe Biden in 2020 – fare better in the 2024 edition of the rankings in such areas as health care and the environment. But a number of red states – those who opted for former President Donald Trump four years ago – account for many of the nation’s top performers in the economy and fiscal stability categories,” an article by U.S. News read.

Here’s a closer look at the breakdown of the top three states and how they fared in the categories assessed.
Source: Screenshot of the U.S. News & World Report.


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