CONCORD — New Hampshire is second to just one in a new ranking of the best states to live.
New Hampshire ranked No. 2 overall in U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best States study, which ranks all 50 states based on criteria from eight categories, including education, health care, infrastructure and the economy.
Washington topped the rankings in the annual survey, released by U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday. New Hampshire was second, followed by Minnesota, Utah and Vermont.
Gov. Chris Sununu said he was pleased to see New Hampshire ranked so high in the survey.
“Today in the Granite State, more people are working than ever before, business taxes are at their lowest this century, and a child’s neighborhood no longer defines their chance for a quality education,” Sununu said. “Our model is a success story and opportunities abound. The sky is the limit here in New Hampshire, and we are just getting started.”
This is the third year for the U.S. News & World Report survey, which placed New Hampshire fifth a year ago and second overall in the inaugural rankings of 2017.
Each of the top five overall states ranked in the Top 10 in at least four of the eight categories.
New Hampshire ranked No. 1 in the opportunity category, which factored economic opportunity, equality and affordability, according to the study. The Granite State also topped the list for crime and corrections and finished in the Top 10 under environment (No. 4), education (No. 5) and fiscal stability (No. 10).
New Hampshire’s lowest marks came in infrastructure with a ranking of No. 31, which was actually an improvement after ranking 38th in the category last year. The Granite State was far from alone among states scoring low in infrastructure remained an “area for improvement” across the country, according to the study.
U.S. News & World said the rankings are based on how each state scored in the individual categories, based on data gathered from government and public sources.
“As people are increasingly concerned about income disparities, rising health care costs, gaps in education and crumbling infrastructure, it’s more important than ever to focus on the day-to-day policies that affect people where they live their lives,” Eric Gertler, executive chairman at U.S. News, said in a release. “This is where the U.S. News Best States project is vital.”