Minnesota was named the second best state in the nation by U.S. News and World Report on Tuesday.
That’s up from third place in 2019, the last time the “Best States” rankings were published — the digital news and information company put the list on hiatus in 2020 so its editorial staff could focus on the pandemic.
The state of Washington took the top spot, just as it did in 2019. The state’s low-carbon energy system and robust secondary education were highlighted in a news release.
Rankings for the 2021 Best States are based on eight categories: health care, education, the economy, infrastructure, opportunity, fiscal stability, crime and corrections and the natural environment.
States are evaluated through surveys as well as various datasets. Note: The datasets that are used in the rankings predominantly came from a period predating the pandemic, with the exceptions of Fortune 1000 and Cost of Living Index data for the year 2020, according to the ranking info. Therefore, the bulk of the analysis is from a “pre-COVID-19” perspective.
“Minnesota’s performance in some of the highest-weighted categories within the U.S. News Best States rankings (No. 10 in health care, No. 17 in education, No. 15 in economy) as well as its standing in other categories (No. 9 in infrastructure, No. 2 in opportunity, No. 10 in natural environment) led to its No. 2 position in the overall rankings,” said Sara Clarke, assistant managing editor for Best States at U.S. News & World Report, in an email.
Rounding out the top five states overall are Utah in third place, followed by New Hampshire and Idaho. Wisconsin is eighth.
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