"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.