- Massachusetts tops the list this year, moving up from #2 last year.
- New Mexico, Alaska and several southern states ranked lowest.
- WalletHub categorizes states into 5 categories based on ratings
Is your state among the best to live in this year? WalletHub has an answer.
Researchers at the Personal Finance publication used scores to rank the 50 states into five categories: affordability, economy, education and health, quality of life, and safety.
Massachusetts topped the 2022 list with a score of 62.65 out of 100. New Jersey placed second, falling from the top spot last year. New York, Idaho, and Virginia fill the remaining five states to live in, in that order. Virginia is the only newcomer to the top five, knocking Minnesota off the list.
Several southern states — including Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas — rounded out the bottom of WalletHub’s rankings.
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What went into WalletHub’s state scores?
According to WalletHub, its rankings reflect states’ scores on a total of 52 “viability” indicators, each weighted differently. Here is a breakdown of the five categories:
affordability: Considers cost of living, house prices, median household income, home ownership, and median annual property taxes.
Business: Indicators include the government unemployment rate, poverty rate, and wealth gap, among others.
Life quality: Measured by commute times, infrastructure quality, access to hiking and biking trails, air quality and weather, and several other indicators.
Education and Health: Indicators include the quality of the public school and hospital system, life expectancy and premature mortality.
Security: WalletHub examines violent and property crime, traffic deaths, and the number of law enforcement personnel.
Each category is worth 20 points, with a maximum total of 100 points.
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The top 10 best states to live in 2022
- 1. Massachusetts; Result: 62.65
- 2. New Jersey; Result: 62.01
- 3.New York; Result: 60.64
- 4. Idaho; Result: 58.73
- 5.Virginia; Result: 58.73
- 6. New Hampshire; Result: 58.25
- 7.Florida; Result: 58.07
- 8. Wyoming; Score: 58
- 9.Minnesota; Result: 57.99
- 10.Wisconsin; Result: 57.92
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The 10 worst states of 2022 to live in
- 41. West Virginia; Result: 46.84
- 42. Kentucky; Result: 46.39
- 43. Alabama; Result: 45.61
- 44. Oklahoma; Result: 43.82
- 45.South Carolina; Score: 43.80
- 46. New Mexico; Result: 42.51
- 47. Arkansas; Result: 42.42
- 48.Louisiana; Result: 41.74
- 49.Alaska; Result: 40.93
- 50. Mississippi; Result: 39.77
Is your state in the middle? Check out WalletHub’s full leaderboards.