U.S. News and World Report Ranked All 50 States by Quality of Life. Here Are the Top 10.

Deep, potentially highly-personal question: why do you choose to live in your state? Was it determined by your job? Your schooling? Family obligations, perhaps? Did you visit it on vacation and realize that it is the place that you love? Or is it simply where you have always lived?

It’s an important question and one that, if you’ve never sat down to consider it, could tell you a whole lot about yourself.

Now, it’s fair to say that all 50 states have their strong points. In fact, we can think of dozens of good reasons to live in each and every one of them! California, for instance, has some of the most diverse topography in the country. Massachusetts has an overwhelming amount of history for such a small state. Florida’s got Disney World—who doesn’t love Disney World?

But, those states aside, it’s important to note that some of the least populated parts of our country are, according to one report, some of the best in terms of quality of life.

In a recent report published in U.S. News, researchers took two very important factors into account when considering how the quality of life of a state’s residents could be affected—the natural environment and social environment.

A state’s natural environment is composed of data which includes air and water quality, overall pollution, and if residents have been exposed to industrial toxins. This means that, in the study, each place’s drinking water and air qualities, in particular, were placed under particularly tough scrutiny.

Moving on to what researchers call the “social environment.” The social environment focuses on how active the state’s residents are in community events, particularly how much time they spend with friends, family, neighbors, or colleagues. Another factor that is taken into account is strong voter turnout, a hallmark of any invested community.

So, now that you know how these states were judged, let’s take a look at some of the best and brightest…

10. Colorado scored 8/50 for natural environment and 20/50 for social environment.

9. Iowa scored 18/50 for natural environment and 10/50 for social environment.

8. New Mexico scored 17/50 for natural environment and 11/50 for social environment.

7. Arkansas scored 5/50 for natural environment and 21/50 for social environment.

6. Mississippi scored 9/50 for natural environment and 17/50 for social environment.

5. South Dakota scored 6/50 for natural environment and 14/50 for social environment.

4. New Hampshire scored 13/50 for natural environment and 7/50 for social environment.

3. Wisconsin scored 20/50 for natural environment and 5/50 for social environment.

2. Minnesota scored 12/50 for natural environment and 4/50 for social environment.

Wait– are we missing something? Just kidding! You didn’t think we would reveal the best state for quality of life THATthat easily, did you?

To find out which one was given the top rank, as well as how both natural and social factors can so profoundly influence residents’ lives, be sure to watch the video below. Interesting stuff!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on these remarkable states. Are you a resident of one of them? If so, do you agree that it is a good place to live? Do you think another state should get an honorable mention?