U.S. News & World Report: Why Washington is the Best State in America
Washington is the best state in the country, according to the third annual 2019 Best States rankings from U.S. News & World Report. The publication evaluated all 50 states across a range of criteria, including education, health care, infrastructure and the economy. The report emphasized Washington’s thriving technology sector as well as the state’s aggressive efforts to promote clean, affordable energy.
“Washington state is an example of how climate action and a strong economy go hand in hand,” Gov. Jay Inslee said. “We are as confident as ever about our efforts to speed up the transition to clean energy.”
To obtain the top ranking, Washington ranked high in a number of areas including infrastructure, the economy and education. In previous years, Washington has consistently placed in the top 10 in state rankings. Last year, Washington ranked sixth, and it ranked fifth in 2017.
Washington also appears regularly at the top of favorable rankings from other organizations, especially those related to economic opportunity.
Last year, CNBC named Washington the Top State for Business, WalletHub listed Washington as the state with the best economy, and Oxfam, an organization that aims to end poverty, also gave high marks to Washington state for being the best state for workers.
“These rankings show Washington’s success on a variety of different levels, to be the number one state in the country, and also ranked both the best economy and the best place for workers is incredible, yet unsurprising,” Inslee said. “This is an exceptional place to live, work, raise a family and open a business. And we are working hard to make sure all Washingtonians have an opportunity to benefit from our growth and success.”
This year, U.S. News & World Report streamlined the methodology to reflect more objective, transparent and comparable data across the framework. The rankings are based on more than 70 metrics and tens of thousands of data points.
Adding to a set of annual surveys that determine the weights of the eight categories, U.S. News conducted a survey asking more than 23,000 people across the country to provide levels of satisfaction with government services and to prioritize where state governments should focus resources.
Washington state’s 2019 legislative session ended recently with Inslee and legislative leaders celebrating significant victories related to climate change and 100 percent clean energy, free college, healthcare, jobs and criminal justice reform.
The legislative session resulted in many firsts for the state including bills to create the first-in-the nation public health care option and one to create a long-term care benefit, the first university teaching hospital for behavioral health and the strongest clean energy law in the country.
Read more about U.S. News & World Report’s rankings.