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U.S. News Best States Rankings: Top-Performing States Revealed Across Key Categories

U.S. News Best States Rankings Revealed

Insights into America’s Best States

According to, U.S. News and World Report’s latest Best States Rankings offer insights into the top-performing states across various categories including healthcare, education, economy, infrastructure, resident opportunity, financial stability, public safety, and natural environment. The rankings based on surveys gauging public priorities assign differing weights to each category with healthcare considered the most significant. Notably the publication renowned for its annual college rankings presents a list of the top 10 states spotlighting notable placements of some well-known states.

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Best US States in 2024


Utah has taken the top spot on the list, according to a recent ranking. It is ranked No. 2 in education No. 3 in both economy and infrastructure No. 6 in fiscal stability and No. 9 in crime and corrections. The Beehive State boasts a gross domestic product (GDP) of $273 billion and a population of over 3.4 million. Nearly half of its residents or 47.9%, are college-educated with a median income of $40,959. Utah’s diverse landscapes including mountains, high plateaus, and deserts draw attention with the state capital Salt Lake City housing the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere. Its unique border arrangement with Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona forms the “Four Corners” area a distinction in the United States.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire has secured the No. 2 spot on the ranking despite being one of the smallest states. It excels in crime and corrections ranking first and also ranks No. 7 in economy, No. 8 in natural environment and No. 9 in education. With a GDP of $111 billion and a population exceeding 1.4 million New Hampshire showcases its educated populace with over half or 50.6%, holding college degrees and a median income of $49,617. The state’s significance in national politics particularly in presidential elections is noted with its first-in-the-nation primary playing a pivotal role in shaping political careers though its actual impact may be debated.


Nebraska known for its significant agricultural industry clinched the top three position in the ranking. It boasts No. 3 in fiscal stability No. 4 in infrastructure and No. 9 in natural environment. With a GDP of $178 billion and a population of more than 1.9 million Nebraska’s educational attainment stands at less than half with 46.2% holding college degrees and a median income of $41,403. Omaha a major urban center and home to Warren Buffett contributes to the state’s economic landscape with Berkshire Hathaway’s success benefiting many Americans over the years.


Minnesota situated as the northernmost state among the contiguous 48 clinched the fourth spot in the ranking. It stands second in natural environment and seventh in fiscal stability. With a hefty GDP of $472 billion and a population exceeding 5.7 million Minnesota boasts a well-educated population with over half or 51%, holding college degrees and a median income of $47,393. The state’s economic strength is evident with major industries like healthcare, manufacturing, and retail trade thriving along with renowned Fortune 500 companies such as UnitedHealth Group, Target, 3M, and General Mills.


Idaho rounds out the top five in the ranking renowned for its potatoes, precious stones, and trout. It ranks No. 2 in economy and No. 9 in fiscal stability. With a GDP of $119 billion and a population exceeding 1.9 million Idaho’s educational attainment stands at 42.1%, with a median income of $37,395. The state’s rugged landscapes encompassing snowy mountains deep valleys, lakes, and rivers, contribute to its allure with Idaho covering an area twice the size of the six New England states combined.

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