A U.S. News & World Report survey confirms what many Minnesotans already know: The North Star State is one of the best states in the U.S.
The media company recently releases its “Best States 2021” report that ranks performance in eight categories — health care, education, economy, infrastructure, opportunity, crime and corrections, fiscal stability and natural environment. Washington state took top honors for 2021. Minnesota took second.
This year, Minnesota ranked in the top 10 for opportunity (No. 2), infrastructure (No. 9) and natural environment (No. 10). Rankings in the other categories—health care (No. 16), education (No. 17), economy (No. 15), fiscal responsibility (No. 21) and crime and corrections (No. 15) — were above average.
Minnesota is the only state to rank in the top three every year since U.S. News & World Report began ranking the states in 2017, noted Gov. Tim Walz in a news release.
“There is a reason Minnesota continually ranks as one of the best states in the nation,” Walz said. “After an extraordinarily challenging year, our investments in education, health care and local communities continue to make Minnesota a great place to live, work and raise a family.”
How ratings were calculated
As in past years, U.S. News & World Report ranked all 50 states based on data within 71 metrics and across eight categories. It created the state rankings to provide a way for citizens, government leaders and business executives to compare and better understand the issues and best practices that matter to most states.
The 2021 rankings are weighted, based on an average of responses from three surveys: fall 2017, which involved 20,100 respondents from all 50 states; winter 2018-19, with 23,400 respondents; and winter 2020-21 with 26,300 respondents.
The 2021 report also compiled data related to the COVID-19 pandemic and how it has affected states’ economies and budgets.
Neighboring states also appeared high in the ranking. Overall, Wisconsin ranked No. 8; Iowa, No. 12; North Dakota, No. 14; and South Dakota, No. 15.
Read the full report.