California has beaches, mountains, movie stars, excellent weather — and the worst quality of life in the country, according to a new ranking by U.S. News & World Report.
The data, provided by McKinsey & Co.’s Leading States Index, scored all 50 states in eight categories: education, health care, economy, opportunity, infrastructure, crime and corrections, fiscal stability and quality of life. While overall, California ranked at 32 (which still seems low, considering we’re just above Indiana), our sunshiny state came in dead last for quality of life.
In this report, quality of life wasn’t just determined by access to the great outdoors and culture. The report also said that “a person’s quality of life is largely a result of their interactions with those around them,” according to U.S. News. “Studies show that when people feel socially supported, they experience greater happiness, as well as physical and mental health.”
It judged each state on two metrics in this area: natural environment and social environment. California scored 44 and 47 in those categories, respectively.
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In contrast, North Dakota scored 2 and 3.
Accompanying California in the lowest quality of life are: Texas, Illinois, Indiana and New Jersey. And they all ranked ahead of the Golden State.
The top five states for quality of life are, in order, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Hampshire and South Dakota.
Notice a commonality? All of those places have below-freezing temperatures in the winter.
But hey, maybe that’s why so many people are leaving California for this state.