USA TODAY— U.S. News & World Report ranked Iowa No. 1 in the country in its Best States rankings released Tuesday, which evaluates all 50 states across a range of criteria. This is the second year U.S. News has ranked states.
According to this year’s report, the rankings show how each of the 50 U.S. states perform in 77 metrics across eight categories. Those categories include health care, education, economy, infrastructure, crime and fiscal stability, among others.
Results from the eight categories were based on the average of two years’ worth of data from an annual McKinsey & Company survey that asked more than 30,000 people nationwide to prioritize each subject in their state.
These states made up the top 10:
4. North Dakota
5. New Hampshire
These states made up the bottom 10:
42. South Carolina
47. West Virginia
48. New Mexico
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds joined “CBS This Morning” in studio with Brian Kelly, chief content officer of U.S. News, shortly after the rankings debuted Tuesday, where she discussed the rankings and current events.
Reynolds said her biggest challenge as governor is improving Iowans’ overall quality of life as it relates to job growth and paths to success.
“I think if we have a talent pipeline ready to meet the needs and we’re providing opportunities for Iowans in our state to really have a great quality of life, that’s how we’re going to succeed and continue to stay on top.”
Broadband consultant David Daack of Connected Nation, which does business in Iowa as Connect Iowa, told U.S. News that the state’s top ranking in infrastructure and the broadband access metric within came as a “pleasant surprise.”
“When people think of Iowa, they usually think of agricultural places that won’t necessarily need to be connected,” Daack said. “But given the big data needs of agriculture today and in the future, those areas are going to need to be every bit as connected as the urban areas.
“… You could almost argue that maybe we should go (to the farms) first and work our way back into the cities.”
Here’s how Iowa ranked in each category:
- Infrastructure: 1st
- Health care: 3rd
- Opportunity: 4th
- Education: 5th
- Quality of life: 9th
- Crime: 15th
- Economy: 17th
- Fiscal stability: 21st
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