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U.S. News and World Report released its Best States 2024 ranking. Here’s where RI ranks.




U.S. News and World Report released its Best States 2024 ranking and – drumroll please – Rhode Island is looking pretty average.

The rankings rate the quality of life in every state, with a scorecard that ranks each state on crime and corrections, economy, education, fiscal stability, health care, infrastructure, natural environment and opportunity, and looks at three years of data. A total of 71 metrics are used, according to the publication.

Those factors are then weighted going into the final scoring. Healthcare and education, for example, account for about 15% of the total score while natural environment accounts for 9%.

Rhode Island ranks No. 26 best state

Coming right in the middle, Rhode Island was ranked the 26th best state. Here’s how it faired in each category.

  • Crime and Correction: No. 7, with a lower incarceration rate (124 per 100,000 residents) and violent crime rate (172 per 100,000 residents) than the national average of 311 and 381 respectively.
  • Economy: No. 18 overall, with a ranking within the category of: No. 9 for business environment, No. 20 for employment and No. 32 for growth.
  • Education: No. 36, with a ranking within the category of No. 45 for higher education and No. 31 for Pre-K through high school.
  • Fiscal Stability: No. 47, where despite doing better than the national average on budget balancing, the state ranked No. 44 for long-term stability and No. 48 for short-term stability.
  • Health Care: No. 5, the state ranked in the top ten for health care access and public health, and No. 11 for health care quality
  • Infrastructure: No. 45, Rhode Island was ranked at the worst in the nation for transportation, with 37.2% of roads in poor condition compared to the national average of 18.3%. The state ranked No. 33 for internet access and No. 41 for energy, pulling up the score.
  • Natural Environment: No. 3, with better than average air quality and drinking water quality, the state ranked high in this category.
  • Opportunity: No. 33, this category looked at affordability, economic opportunity and equality. Rhode Island ranked No. 38, No. 12 and No. 19, respectively.

The 10 best states 2024

These states ranked as the top 10 in the nation, according to U.S. News.

  1. Utah
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Nebraska
  4. Minnesota
  5. Idaho
  6. Iowa
  7. Vermont
  8. Washington
  9. Florida
  10. Massachusetts

The 10 worst states in 2024

These states ranked as the bottom 10 in the nation, according to U.S. News.

  1. Lousiana
  2. New Mexico
  3. Mississippi
  4. Arkansas
  5. West Virginia
  6. Alaska
  7. Alabama
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Michigan
  10. South Carolina
  11. Pennsylvania
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