Best States Rankings: Vermont Is 9th

New Hampshire ranked 5th

Vermont is the 9th best state in the country according to the recent best states rankings from U.S. News & World Report. The number one state was Iowa. New Hampshire ranked 5th; Massachusetts was 8th. 

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The study looked at eight factors including health care, education, and economy. The best categories for Vermont were Health Care (6), Opportunity (6) and Crime & Corrections (7). It ranked low in Quality of Life (26), Economy (31) and Infrastructure (35). See chart below. 

Five interesting facts from the 2018 Best States Ranking: 

  • The top states are geographically and politically diverse, spanning the Far West and the Rocky Mountains to the Plains and New England. In the 2016 presidential election, four of the top 10 Best States granted their electoral college votes to Republican Donald Trump.
  • Most states rank in the top half in some categories and the bottom half in others, demonstrating that all states have something to learn from one another. Just four states — Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, Nebraska — place in the top 25 states in all eight categories.
  • Three states in the bottom 10 overall - Mississippi, Arkansas and New Mexico - all rank in the top 10 in the new quality of life category,which evaluates states' natural and social environments. In particular, those three states scored well for community engagement, measuring residents' participation and satisfaction with community events. North Dakota, the No. 4 state overall, ranks first for quality of life.
  • Perhaps somewhat ironically, most of the top states for economy do not rank highly in opportunity, largely because they are less affordable or have more inequality than other states. Delaware is a notable exception, scoring well for economic opportunity and equality as well as indicators of a strong business environment and growth.
  • Nine of the top 10 states overall were the same in the first two years of the ranking. Nebraska was the only state to enter the top 10 Best States and Maryland the only state to fall off in 2018.


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