Ratings and rankings can be food for thought, fun for boasting, or just plain head-scratching. A couple of them that we noticed this week fit the bill.

A U.S. News and World Report study just out ranks states based on several categories, including education, health care, infrastructure and economy. New Hampshire, not surprisingly, did well. In fact, it was ranked second in the nation, behind only Washington state.

No doubt New Hampshire’s nattering nabobs of negativism will object, just as they did decades ago when the same magazine hailed New Hampshire as a standout state in a hard-luck region. Conservative Meldrim Thomson Jr. was governor back then and liberals were predicting doom and gloom for the Granite State if a broadbased sales or income tax wasn’t adopted immediately.

Of course, their even older kin had hailed Gov. Sherman Adams when he predicted Armageddon if the state didn’t pass a sales tax, circa 1950.

Today, the tax-and-spend crowd is dismayed that current Gov. Chris Sununu won’t let it foist a state income tax on the public in the guise of a “family leave” tax.

The magazine rated New Hampshire number one in opportunity, included economic opportunity, equality and affordability. If the liberals have their way on this latest tax, the “family leave” will refer to the families, and businesses, that leave New Hampshire for greener pastures.

A second ranking this week at first had us puzzled. Why would New Hampshire, which hasn’t seen much of the sun this year, rank third in the number of melanoma cases? It is a skin cancer caused by exposure to the sun and ultraviolet rays.

The answer was in one sentence in the report. “It tends to occur in older people.”

New Hampshire, by many accounts, is either second or third as the state with the oldest population. Well, that can be a good thing.

For instance, older people are smarter. They read more.

If you are one of them, put on sunscreen and wear a hat.

The sun will come out, some day.