Thursday, November 23, 2017
Travel

Where does Florida stand among the best states in the U.S.? Somewhere in the middle.

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Floridians may cite our warm weather, sunny skies and lush beaches as a reason this is the place to be, but a U.S. News & World Report study on the "best states" in America doesn't exactly give the Sunshine State an overly ringing endorsement.

Massachusetts was the best state in the country, and Florida ranks in a middle-of-the-group 24th.

While being in the middle may not be the worst thing, no southern states cracked the top 10.

New Hampshire snagged the No. 2 spot behind Massachusetts and Minnesota was No. 3, followed by North Dakota and Washington.

FULL REPORT: View the U.S. News & World Report "best states" rankings

The bottom five: New Mexico, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi and Louisiana.

The report measured states across 68 metrics and ranked them in seven major categories: health care, education, crime and corrections, infrastructure, opportunity, economy and government.

For example, Indiana ranked first for government; Hawaii first in health care and Oregon first in infrastructure.

The rankings were developed with data points provided by McKinsey & Company's "Leading States Index."

As different states excel in different areas, Florida performed strong in some and weak in others.

• Health Care: 31

• Education: 29

• Crime and Corrections: 37

• Infrastructure: 11

• Opportunity: 43

• Economy: 7

• Government: 9

Categories were weighted based on a national survey of what matters most to citizens and asked people to prioritize the subjects and fill in their levels of satisfaction with several services.

"The data draws on thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their citizens," the report reads. "... The metrics take into account a state's economy, the opportunity it offers people, its roads, bridges, internet and other infrastructure."

Contact Samantha Putterman at sputterman@tampabay.com. Follow @samputterman.

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