Divided Nation: Is America’s Best State Red or Blue?

Google News

What makes a good situation?

Ahead of what is sure to be a hard-fought presidential election in November, partisans are likely to be disappointed by the clear answer in U.S. News & World Report’s annual report. Best state ranking: Political leanings may not be as related to prominence as expected.

Broadly speaking, blue states (states that voted for President Joe Biden in 2020) perform better in the 2024 rankings in areas such as health care and the environment. But many red states — the ones that elected former President Donald Trump four years ago — are among the nation’s top performers in economic and fiscal stability categories.

Overall, when states’ performance is evaluated across the eight total categories in the Best States rankings, the top 10 falls neatly and is perhaps appropriate for a divided nation.

There are five red states and five blue states.

Browse photos of the 50 states

Google News Overall ranking red vs blue

When we look at the intersection of state excellence, or lack thereof, and left and right, we see that what’s working, especially in the top 10 states overall, is a combination of politics and policies.

First place goes to red Utah, and second place goes to blue New Hampshire. 3rd place is red Nebraska, 4th place is blue state of Minnesota, 5th and 6th places are red states of Idaho and Iowa, 7th and 8th places are blue states of Vermont and Washington State, 9th place is red Florida state. The 10th place goes to the blue state of Massachusetts.

Utah – Top ranked state for second consecutive year – The state scores particularly well in education, ranking second in the nation in an assessment that incorporates the reading and math scores of the state’s relatively strong 8th graders, as well as other metrics. Utah ranks third economically, particularly in labor force participation and business creation. No. 9 Florida had a strong showing as well. #1 in both economy and educationThis is mainly thanks to higher education indicators such as low tuition and fees, and economic indicators such as gross domestic product growth.

Meanwhile, New Hampshire has the second-lowest rate of violent crime and property crime in the country, jumps to first in crime and corrections, and ranks in the top 10 for economy, education, opportunity, and environment. has been done. Massachusetts, ranked 10th, ranks 2nd in health care, 3rd in education, 4th in crime and corrections, 7th in environment, and 8th in economy.

Google News Location, location, location?

The top-performing states, like the bottom 10, exhibit some regional patterns.

For example, the top 20 red states in the overall ranking are mostly located in the Great Plains and mountain regions of the United States, while the bottom 10 red states are disproportionately located in the South.

Louisiana ranks 50th overall, followed by other low-ranking Deep South states such as Mississippi (48th), Alabama (44th), and South Carolina (41st). . Other nearby states in the bottom 10 that are solidly red include Arkansas (47th), West Virginia (46th), and Oklahoma (43rd).

The only two states that voted for Biden in 2020 were in the bottom 10 overall: Michigan, which ranked 42nd, and New Mexico, which ranked 49th.

Notable absences from both the top 10 and bottom 10 include: most populous state in the country, are concentrated in the middle of the ranking. Florida, the third most populous state in the United States, ranks 9th, while the other five most populous states all rank between 23rd (New York) and 40th (Pennsylvania). .

Google News Turbulent states in 2024

of 7 swing states These states, identified by U.S. News as critical to the outcome of the 2024 election between Biden and Trump, span nearly the entire country and rank in both the top and bottom half of the Best States rankings. Masu.

  • wisconsin – No. 17, Deliver your best performance at every opportunity (No. 5)
  • georgia – No. 18, Best Performance in Infrastructure (No. 14) and Environment (No. 14)
  • north carolina – 19th place, with best performance in economy (11th place) and financial stability (11th place)
  • arizona – No. 32, best performance in economy (No. 10)
  • nevada – No. 33, best performance in economy (No. 5)
  • pennsylvania – No. 40, Best Performer in Healthcare (No. 11)
  • Michigan – No. 42, giving the best performance to the occasion (No. 27)

Google News Blue state’s premier

Two clear examples of categories in which blue states consistently score highly are health care and the natural environment. It’s no coincidence that these are two issues that have long been important to Democratic politicians.

In the medical field, the top 13 states supported Biden in 2020, including Pennsylvania, one of this year’s purple battleground states. The highest-ranked red state in health care is Utah, which ranks 14th. In contrast, the bottom 12 states in health care are all red states.

Marcia Godwin, a political scientist and professor of public administration at the University of La Verne in California, said health metrics are “very closely tied to policy initiatives, which is why blue states dominate that category.” talk. “There also appears to be some correlation between opportunities for outdoor activities and lower rates of smoking.”

The bottom 12 states include Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Wyoming, which have so far passed the health care package signed by then-Democratic President Barack Obama. It has not expanded Medicaid under the Affordability Act.Countries in the Deep South are also experiencing obesity epidemicGodwin points out.

“Racial and social disparities in health are most pronounced in these states, both historically and in terms of current policy,” she says.

Two red states are in the top 10 environmentally: Nebraska and South Dakota. But red states also make up the bottom 10 states for the environment, including Alabama, Alaska, Indiana, Louisiana, Ohio, Texas, and Utah. Blue Delaware is on the list, as are Arizona and Nevada, two states that Biden won in 2020 and are key battlegrounds in this year’s presidential election.

One area where Republicans often tout their good intentions is one where blue states are doing surprisingly well. He has eight states in blue that rank in the top 10 for crime and corrections. This category includes violent crime and property crime rates, as well as incarceration rates and racial equity in prisons.

Google News economy, opportunity, education

Similar to the overall ranking, the breakdown of the top 10 states in the economic category, which includes indicators such as employment growth and labor force participation, is an even mix of red and blue. The red states are Florida, Idaho, Montana, Texas and Utah, with blue Colorado, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Biden 2020 states Arizona and Nevada rounding out the group.

However, the bottom five states with economies are all red: Alaska, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, and West Virginia.

Opportunity categories are based on a variety of metrics related to affordability, economic opportunity, and equity across race, gender, and disability boundaries, providing an unusual mix of states. Blue states Vermont and Maine rank first and second in this category, and the top 10 also includes red states Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming.

A string of populous blue states, including California, New Jersey and New York, are flocking to the bottom 10 in search of opportunity. The populous states of Florida and Texas also rank low in this category.

When it comes to education, the red states of Florida and Utah rank first and second, but most of the remaining states in the top 10 are blue states such as Colorado, Connecticut, and Virginia. It has become.Education rankings include: high school and college graduation rate, Debt when graduating from university and Preschool admissionalong with other indicators.

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