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Map: The United States of America, ranked from best to worst

Washington is the best state in the nation, while Louisiana and Alabama are the worst, according to a new analysis by U.S. News & World Report.

The American rankings and analysis website factored in health care, education, economy, infrastructure, opportunity, fiscal stability, crime and corrections, and natural environment to create its annual list of the best and worst U.S. states.

With a GDP of $524.323 billion, Washington came out on top. The state’s economy is largely boosted by the aerospace industry and the military and defense sector, which “employs the second-largest number of people in Washington,” according to the report.

Washington is the best state in the U.S. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)
Washington is the best state in the U.S. (Graphic: David Foster/Yahoo Finance)

The state’s uninsured rate is at 8.8%, well below the national average of 13.8%. The average household income is $70,979, over $10,000 more than the national average.

On the other end of the spectrum, Louisiana has less than half the GDP of Washington. Just 30% of the state’s population has received a college education and job growth sits at -0.2%, below the 1.2% national average. Louisiana’s obesity rate of 36.2% is above the national average and the state has a measly 4% rate of renewable energy usage, starkly below the nation’s standards.

Alabama, the second-worst state, has a median income of just $26,498. The southern state has above-average debt at graduation, uninsured adults, obesity, preventable hospital admissions, poverty, and incarceration.

Cherry tree in bloom and people jogging, bicycling and walking on Azalea Way footpath in Washington Park Arboretum; Seattle, Washington. (Photo: Greg Vaughn /VW PICS/UIG via Getty Images)

In terms of overall economy, Colorado and Utah were considered the best states due to their strong business environments, employment numbers, and job growth. West Virginia and Louisiana were at the bottom.

For health care, Hawaii was the best state in the nation, with Massachusetts and Connecticut not far behind. And due to their public health and health care access and quality, Mississippi and Arkansas were ranked as the worst in that category.

When it comes to higher education and pre-K through 12 education, Massachusetts and New Jersey were the best of the best. About 51% of Massachusetts’ population is college-educated, while New Jersey’s 90.1% high school graduation rate is above the national average of 84.1%.

Adriana is an associate editor for Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @adrianambells.


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