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Minnesota Named #2 Best State in the Nation According to New Study from U.S. News and World Report

2/27/2018 11:10:43 AM

Minnesota moved up from #3 ranking last year; study cites low poverty rates, employment equity, and overall quality of life as top factors
ST. PAUL, MN – Citing quality of life and opportunities available in Minnesota, U.S. News and World Report today released a new study naming Minnesota the #2 Best State in the Nation. Last year, Minnesota ranked #3 in the same national study. In addition to ranking #2 overall, Minnesota also ranked in the top 10 for quality of life (#2), opportunity (#3), infrastructure (#6), and health care (#7), and is the home of some of the lowest poverty rates in the country, along with the most employment equality between women and men.
“This study reaffirms what Minnesotans have always known: our state is one of the very best places in the country to live, work, and raise a family,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “However, we have more work to do build an even better Minnesota. I look forward to working with the Legislature this session to ensure Minnesota remains a leader in education, economic opportunity, health care, reliable infrastructure, and a high quality of life for all who call our state home.”
In its analysis, U.S. News and World Report evaluated states across 77 metrics to create this year’s Best States rankings. In determining the weights of the eight categories in the rankings, two years of data were used from McKinsey’s “citizen experience” survey, which asked more than 30,000 people to prioritize each subject in their state and provide levels of satisfaction with government services. Health care and education were the most highly weighted factors in the methodology, followed closely by the economy.
In addition to its overall rankings, Minnesota scored in the top three for lowest incarceration rates and food insecurity, and among the top three for highest health insurance enrollment, labor force participation, adult dental visits, and math scores in the nation.
Additional information is available on the U.S. News and World Report website.
Other Top Rankings
Today’s new study follows other recent recognitions of Minnesota’s successes. Below, see some of Minnesota’s other top rankings from recent years.


#1 Best-Run State


Minnesota is the best-run state in the nation, according to a study published by USA Today that cites Minnesota’s strong fiscal management, low unemployment and poverty rates, above-average median household income, and the state’s nearly perfect credit rating. Since ranking tenth in 2012, Minnesota has consistently climbed in the rankings under the same study, including ranking second last year.



#1 Best State to Retire In


Minnesota is the best state to retire, according to a study from AARP – the nation’s largest advocate for seniors. The study looked at affordability, housing, health care, quality of life, supports for family caregivers, and more.



#1 Best State for Women


Minnesota is the best state for women, according to a study from WalletHub. The study looked at women’s wages, health and safety, and economic and social well-being across all fifty states.



#2 Best State for Families


Minnesota is the #2 Best State to Raise a Family, according to a report from WalletHub. The study looked at family salaries, education opportunities, family fun, health and safety, affordability, unemployment rates, and more.



#2 Strongest State in the Nation



Minnesota is the #2 Strongest State in the Union, according to a study issued by POLITICO. The annual analysis is based on 15 separate categories that demonstrate the educational attainment, quality of life, and economic health of each of the 50 states.



#2 Best State Overall


Minnesota is the #2 Best State in America, according to a study from U.S. News and World Report. The study cited economic opportunities, great educations, and quality health care in Minnesota. 2017’s study also ranked Minnesota as the #1 Best State in the Region, when compared to North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa, and Missouri.



#3 Best State for Business


Minnesota is America’s #3 Best State for Business in 2017, according to a report released by CNBC. Minnesota moved into the third spot this year, after placing fourth in 2016 and coming in first as America’s Top State for Business in 2015.



#4 America’s Goals for 2030


Minnesota is the #4 Best State on America’s Goals State Report Card. Minnesota ranked high on the Report Card for achieving Future Now’s 7 American Goals for 2030. The project’s goals include good jobs, affordable healthcare, investing in children, empowering people over special interests, equal opportunity, sustainable infrastructure, and a clean environment. Minnesota ranked especially high in good jobs, affordable healthcare, sustainable infrastructure, and a clean environment.

Minnesota is Much Better than It Was Before
When Governor Dayton took office, our economy was in crisis and our budget was a mess. Schools were under-funded, 202,000 people were out of work, and taxes unfairly favored the wealthy. Now our economy is strong, unemployment has reached record lows, and our schools have seen historic new investments. Governor Dayton gave 2 million Minnesotans tax cuts, and raised taxes on only the richest 2 percent to pay for needed investments in a Better Minnesota.




Better Economy

Statewide unemployment was at 6.9% and 202,000 people were out of work

Minnesota has the lowest unemployment rates in 17 years at 3.1%. There are 298,000 new jobs, and we are the 3rd-best state for business in the United States

Better Education

$2 billion in school debt, funding for Kindergarten through 12th grade programs was stagnant, and there were no early learning programs

Debt is repaid, $2 billion has been invested in Kindergarten through 12th grade, and 80,000 kids are enrolled in all-day Kindergarten and pre-Kindergarten every year

Better Budget

We had an over $6 billion deficit, and

Nothing was saved in the Reserves

We have had repeated budget surpluses, and there is currently $1.6 billion in the Reserves



Unfair taxes favored the wealthy,

at the expense of everyone else

There has been a 2% tax increase on the top 2%, and cut taxes for 2 million low-and middle-income Minnesotans

Better on Equity

Unemployment for Black Minnesotans was 23.5%; only 8% of state employees were people of color; the state did not do enough to extend contract opportunities to diverse businesses; and only 4.3% of state employees were people with disabilities

Unemployment for Black Minnesotans is the lowest on-record at 7.5% (still too high); 12% of state employees are people of color (still too low); state contracts with businesses of color, women, and veterans have increased 89% since 2015; 6.9% of state workers are people with disabilities (still too low)


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