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Green Mountain State identified as Granite State in magazine's map mix-up

Staff report
January 25. 2014 10:10PM
Above is the original map posted by Politico Magazine, with Vermont identified as New Hampshire, before the mistake was corrected, below. 

Last week, Politico Magazine looked at how the states measure up when it comes to certain indicators of health, wealth, education and welfare, and New Hampshire came out on top.

Now if only the magazine knew where we are.

Granite State pride and enthusiasm for the top ranking was nearly immediately tempered by a realization that the map that accompanied Politico's story had a big green arrow pointing to the state of Vermont but labeling it "NH."

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., had a bit of fun with the error. "We all know New Hampshire is a great place to live, work and raise a family, but it's always nice to be recognized," she said. "It's even better when we're not mistaken for Vermont."

Politico corrected the map within hours, but not before the article was posted on social media by some New Hampshire politicians. Shaheen's comment appeared on her Facebook page, for example, and the Facebook page of U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster provided a link to the magazine article, though there was no mention of the map error in that posting, made Friday.

"Yep,'' the magazine tweeted, "we goofed at first. Better luck next time, Vermont."

Still, most here were happy to accept the recognition at face value.

"It is great to see that New Hampshire continues to be nationally recognized for what Granite Staters already know to be true: that New Hampshire is the best place to live, work and raise a family," Gov. Maggie Hassan said in an email. "Our innovative businesses, awe-inspiring natural resources, vibrant civic society and the 'all-hands-on-deck' spirit of our people lead to a high quality of life for all who call New Hampshire home."

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said in an email, "New Hampshire is tops in the nation for so many reasons. We're the most exciting state for politics, the best place for outdoor fun, and our motto - 'Live free or die' - is head and shoulders above the rest.

"New Hampshire's strength comes from its hard-working people, entrepreneurial spirit, natural beauty, and low tax structure - all of which makes us the envy of the nation," Ayotte wrote.

And Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., said via email, "I'm so proud of New Hampshire and our people for this well-deserved honor! The credit goes to our wonderful governor, to our federal, state, and local public servants, to our elected officials, and to private industry and nonprofit organizations, all of whom work together for the greater good. Take a bow, New Hampshire!"

After Kuster, D-N.H., posted a link to the Politico article on her Facebook page, some pointed out the accompanying map was wrong. In a comment Saturday, Kuster mentioned the magazine's map mistake, but welcomed the recognition for New Hampshire.

"It took Politico a few tries, but I'm glad to see them recognize what Granite Staters already know: that First in the Nation doesn't just refer to the New Hampshire Presidential Primary," she said in an email. "From our hard-working residents to our innovative businesses to our first-rate tax structure, there is nowhere better to live, to work, and to raise a family than here in the Granite State."

Politico used the occasion of President Obama's upcoming State of the Union speech on Tuesday to rate the states and the District of Columbia based on a number of factors.

New Hampshire was in the top 10 for all but one: per capita wealth (7th highest at $32,758); unemployment (10th lowest, 5.1 percent); poverty rate (the lowest in the entire nation at 8.4 percent); home ownership (7th highest, 72 percent); high school graduation rate (5th highest, 91.4 percent); life expectancy (tied for 8th, 80.3 years); low infant mortality (tied for 4th, 5.1 percent); "reported well-being" (8th highest); highest math scores (tied for 7th) and reading scores (tied for 4th); income inequality (5th best); lowest crime rate (3rd); and percentage employed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics jobs (7th).

But for obesity rates, New Hampshire was tied for 17th with Florida.

The map mistake did prompt a few comments from Granite Staters on social media.

Mike Clark posted this on Shaheen's Facebook page: "When I was in the Navy, someone asked me if New Hampshire was a city in Connecticut. I'm not sure I mind people don't know much about us. Perhaps that's how we stay number one?"

And Paul Beauregard suggested it was "probably the result of a dyslexic inversion."

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