Thursday, January 14, 2016

Politico ranks New Hampshire nation's strongest state, Louisiana weakest; 8 of 10 weakest in South

New Hampshire is the strongest state, and 8 of the 10 weakest states are in the South, led by Louisiana as the nation's weakest state, according to Politico Magazine's rankings of states, Manuela Tobias reports for Politico. States were ranked based on: annual per capital income; unemployment; percent below poverty level; home ownership rate; high school graduation; life expectancy at birth; infant deaths per 1,000 births; obesity; violent crime rate; employment in computer, science and engineering; math and reading scores; Well-Being score; GINI index; and H.L. Mencken's 1931 rankings.

"To pull the list together, we consulted 14 existing rankings from sources like the U.S. Census Bureau, the Centers for Disease Control and the FBI and then averaged each state’s different rankings," Tobias writes. "The resulting list, inspired by American Mercury editors H.L. Mencken and Charles Angoff’s 1931 series 'The Worst American State,' doesn’t promise scientific infallibility. But it’s based on the simple idea that education, health and wealth generally make us better off, while crime, unemployment and death do not."

Following New Hampshire at the top of the list was Minnesota, Vermont, Utah, Colorado, Massachusetts, Wyoming, Iowa, Connecticut and Hawaii. Louisiana was ranked 51st. Also at the bottom was Mississippi (50th), Alabama (49), Arkansas (48), West Virginia (47), Tennessee (46), Oklahoma (45), Kentucky (44), Nevada (43), Georgia (42), New Mexico (41) and South Carolina (40).

Minnesota and New Hampshire tied for the top spot last year, while Mississippi was ranked last. In 2014, New Hampshire was the strongest and Mississippi the weakest.

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