Report: Best States for What Matters Most to Americans

A new McKinsey & Co. index leveraging public data benchmarked the best states on seven key categories, ranking Massachusetts number one overall.


By Mark Silva

As many balances of power shift from Washington, D.C., to the states, it's essential to understand which states are doing best at what matters most to Americans.

The central American contract is a constitutional pact the states made with the federal government – starting with the original colonies and continuing with each admission to the union through Hawaii: "Powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution... are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Now, in the first objective, authoritative measure taken of all the states across a comprehensive range of critical issues, U.S. News and World Report is telling a revealing new story about which ones are performing best for their citizens.

The headline may be the ranking of the top 10: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington, Iowa, Utah, Maryland, Colorado and Vermont. Yet the story goes much further, including an exhaustive 50 state-by-state roster of metrics supporting rankings across dozens of subcategories. It explains in detail how they're ranked, and offers readers a unique and simple interactive tool that enables anyone to compare any one state with any others.

In a union such as this, each state has something to learn from the others. Some have better healthcare, some better education, some more economic opportunity for their citizenry. Drawing any comparisons should be more than a matter of bragging rights. It requires clear-eyed measures to make real judgments.

That's what Best States is all about. It's a platform for not only rankings, but also ongoing fresh reporting about news, trends and developments state by state.

Continue reading the story on the U.S. News website.

Watch Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and U.S. News Editor Brian Kelly on CBS This Morning on the CBS website.

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