Thinking About Moving Somewhere New? These Are The Best States To Live In Right Now

Annisquam lighthouse located near Gloucester, Massachusetts

iStockphoto / Maudib

I’m a pretty restless person by nature. I get bored VERY easily unless I’m constantly on the go. Even though I’m pretty content with my living situation these days down in Sarasota, Florida I keep finding myself daydreaming about moving out West for a few years to a state with dramatic mountains and trout streams. This is probably a side-effect of Florida being the flattest state in America.

The mountains might be what’s calling me out West but a much more practical approach in choosing where to live would be looking at things like the strength of the economy, cost of living, quality of life ranking, safety, etc. The website WalletHub put together a study ranking all 50 states and determined the best states to live in right now.

The top four states have a lot in common. For starters, all four start with the letters ‘m’ or ‘n’. Beyond that, the best states to live in all rank at or near the top for Economy, Education, and Safety. WalletHub ranked all 50 states using ’51 key indicators of livability’ and each state was given a score.

Coming in at #1 is Massachusetts with an overall score of 66.77. Massachusetts ranked #2 overall for Economy, #2 for Education and Health, #3 for Quality of Life, and #4 for Safety. It’s near the bottom of the list for Affordability (#43). Here’s how the rest of the list shakes out:

1. Massachusetts (#2 Economy)
2. Minnesota (#3 Education and Health)
3. New Hampshire (#3 Safety)
4. New Jersey (#1 Safety)
5. Colorado (#4 Economy)
6. Wisconsin (#7 Education and Health)
7. Virginia (#10 Safety)
8. Iowa (#9 Education)
9. Utah (#3 Affordability)
10. Idaho (#5 Economy)
11. North Dakota (#1 Economy)
12. Pennsylvania (#5 Quality of Life)
13. Vermont (#1 Education and Health)
14. New York (#1 Quality of Life)
15. Wyoming
16. Maine
17. Washington
18. South Dakota
19. Nebraska
20. Connecticut
21. Illinois
22. Florida
23. California
24. Montana
25. Michigan
26. Hawaii
27. Oregon
28. North Carolina
29. Rhode Island
30. Kansas
31. Maryland
32. Ohio
33. Missouri
34. Delaware
35. Indiana
36. Texas
37. Tennessee
38. Arizona
39. Georgia
40. Nevada
41. Kentucky
42. Oklahoma
43. West Virginia
44. South Carolina
45. Alaska
46. Alabama (#1 Affordability)
47. Arkansas
48. New Mexico
49. Louisiana
50. Mississippi

So Alabama ranks #1 for Affordability but somehow still comes in at #46 on the overall list because it ranks so poorly for every other key indicator of life quality. That’s pretty remarkable. Cheap living isn’t everything.

Here are some other interesting findings from the study:


Some interesting findings here include West Virginia and Maine having the highest home ownership in the nation, if that’s something you’re into. New Hampshire and Maryland have the lowest %’s of residents living below the poverty line. Colorado and North Dakota are tied for highest income growth.

If you’re curious as to how and why your state is ranked where it is, or what the complete list looks like, you can check out this embed here or visit WalletHub by following the links above:

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It is interesting that Washington is the highest-ranked West Coast state and it’s #17. The cost of living out West has gotten insane in recent years but I guess that’s the price you have to pay for living in the most beautiful places on the planet.