Iowans earned major bragging rights this week after their state was recognized as the best in the nation.
That’s according to U.S. News & World Report’s official 2018 Best States ranking, for which analysts compared the 50 states across 7 different categories: health care; education; economy; opportunity; infrastructure; crime and corrections; fiscal stability; and quality of life.
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Health care and education carried the most weight at 16 percent each.
Data used for the analysis were drawn from reliable governmental and private resources, as well as a national survey of what matters most to citizens around the U.S.
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Iowa ranked in the top five in four different categories, including health care (3), education (5), opportunity (4) and infrastructure (1).
For the second straight year, Louisiana was ranked last.
Though Georgia improved five spots from the 2017 Best States ranking, the state still didn’t even crack the top 30 in 2018.
Here’s how Georgia fared across the seven categories:
Overall: No. 31
Health care: No. 42
Education: No. 31
Economy: No. 14
Opportunity: No. 41
Infrastructure: No. 27
Crime & Corrections: No. 35
Fiscal Stability: No. 13
Quality of Life: No. 32
Georgia’s low health care ratings ranked the state among the bottom 10 in that category. It’s not the first time Georgia has been criticized for its problematic health care system.
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In 2017, Georgia ranked sixth worst in the country for health care in an analysis based on costs, access and outcomes.
The state also ranked fifth for one of the nation’s highest infant mortality rates.
But despite its low overall ranking on the U.S. News list, Georgia’s booming economy continues to shed positive light on the Southern state and its capital of Atlanta.
In fact, Atlanta has been widely recognized as one of the fastest-growing economies, best cities for tech jobs/growth and best places to start a business.
Here are the top 10 best states in America, according to U.S. News:
4. North Dakota
5. New Hampshire
More about the study and its methodology at usnews.com.