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    • Huh. That's a pretty fascinating way to categorize them. I understand their criteria like health care, education and crime but what about culture, career opportunities, and outdoor life?

      New York and California ranked low because housing isn't very affordable, which I understand is a really big bummer, but can you be a stage actress if that's your dream in the #1 state, Iowa? What if by education you mean Stanford or Harvard? What if your dream career is acting, investment banker, or software engineer working on Tesla or SpaceX?

      Also, doesn't unaffordable housing mean it's a popular place to live?

    • Highly desirable for sure.

      I agree with the comments about criteria and fake news.

      I would suggest they asked a small number of people, most of whom are not Californians and grabbed other numbers from elsewhere.

    • I'd hazard a guess that everyone commmenting makes well over $100,000 a year per household and probably many individually. This would bias your own experience. There are certainly a lot of opportunities in California but I'd add that it's not just what you make that is important but what the cost of living is compared to that. It's such a generalized evaluation that it's almost meaningless for the individual other than to say it's going to be expensive to live.

      And yet it appears from their evaluation that this isn't what they evaluate when they consider quality of life. It seems to refer to level of environmental pollution, extent of social interactions with those around you and voter turnout. Voter turnout is certainly one I'd question since California is the last state to have a say in the presidential election and there was a heavy bias towards the Democrats. This heavy leaning towards one party would further add to people thinking their vote wouldn't have much of an impact. In short they measure quality of life 50% natural environment and 50% social environment. Maybe people don't volunteer very much in California...

      Here's what the study says about quality of life:

      "Policymakers have implemented a number of regulations over the past half-century to ensure a safe relationship between people and their environment. Under the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency regulates air pollution. Similarly, the Clean Water Actand Safe Drinking Water Act ensure that states properly dispose of pollutants at treatment plants and that public drinking water meets federal standards.

      These laws not only help preserve the nation's natural resources, but they protect the public from harmful toxins and resulting health concerns that affect their quality of life.

      In addition to a healthy environment, a person's quality of life is largely a result of their interactions with those around them. Studies show that when people feel socially supported, they experience greater happiness, as well as physical and mental health. 

      North Dakota and Minnesota are the most effective at promoting their citizens' well-being by providing both a healthy environment and a sense of social connectedness. Other top states include WisconsinNew HampshireSouth Dakota and Mississippi.

      Among the measures used to evaluate states' natural environments are drinking water quality, air quality and total toxic chemical pollution per square. The ranking also considers how much each state puts its citizens at risk for long-term, chronic health effects from pollution.

      Social environment, on the other hand, investigates how involved people are in their communities. Two of the measures, community engagement and social support, are based on surveys where people shared how often they participate in community events and how often they spend time with family members, friends and work colleagues.

      Political involvement was also determined by evaluating average voter turnout at the 2016 presidential and congressional elections. 

      See where states excelled in quality of life, and where others require improvement. Use Best States' interactive tools to explore charts and take a deep dive into the numbers behind the rankings.

      What Goes Into the Overall Score?

      Natural Environment 50%

      National environment measures drinking water quality, pollution and industrial toxins, and air quality.

      See Natural Environment Rankings »

      Social Environment 50%

      Social environment measures community engagement, social support and voter participation.

      Excerpts from:

    • Your fake news suggestion doesn't hold up as they collected data from 30,000 people over the course of two years.

      "In calculating the rankings, each of the eight categories was assigned weightings based on the average of two years of data from an annual national survey that asked a total of more than 30,000 people to prioritize each subject in their state:"

    • I don't make $100k a year and I love it here. Yes, we have homelessness. Yes, we have issues. And yet I work my butt off to stay here because I love it. So the study can say what it wants but it won't affect my desire to stay.

      Our politics are crazy but we're working on so many cool issues and making progress on them. The brainpower of this state is amazing, too.

      I won't get started on the natural beauty of my adopted state, either. ;)

    • I'm certainly not saying I don't like California or that people shouldn't. I'm simply pointing out - like the survey did - that there's some problems with it and room for improvement. I like California enough that I almost moved there a few years back. I sometimes spend a big chunk of my year in Cali and consider it my second home :) We can still love a place but work towards making it even better, and recognizing some of it's shortfalls would be a good first step don't you think?

    • This is fascinating. I hadn’t seen this article with the statistics.

      I really don’t like these articles with statistics based on a small sample size. It leaves out so much. Like perception vs reality. Sure, it’s very expensive to live here. Sure, it’s expensive to afford kids in schools, sports, tutors, etc. But the reality isn’t people live here to be comfortable or thrive. Some are, do or will. Others will not. And most live here because the quality of career and social opportunities are unlike anywhere else, the cultural experiences and diversity are unlike anywhere else, innovation in worldly products is unlike anywhere else, etc. The real value in our quality of life is “the sum of all parts.”

      Just saying :-)

    • Honestly, concluding high cost of housing = low quality of life seems reversed. It's an indicator that people want to live in (New York, SF, Hollywood...) so much they'll pay 💰💰💰.

    • I still think the sample size is too small.

      Someone living on $50k a year has a much different experience than someone at $100k a year.

      To put it mildly, of the four people who work for me, four are considering a move out of state in the next year because the cost of living is so high. Three of the four are married and one of those couples have a child. One is single. Of the ten who work at the business, three others are leaving or have left for similar reasons.

      What’s odd is all but one came here from other states. I’m sure none expected the difficulties of living paycheck to paycheck.

      My conclusion is the high cost of living directly affects ones quality of life. Especially when you are a skilled worker living at the poverty level in a place with such a high cost of living.

      And yes, people are willing to pay for that. Just not everyone can afford it.

    • It is something that comes up amongst my coworkers. We are negotiating a new contract (I am a UPS guy) and I read comments from west coasters that many have 90+ minute commutes in order to live where they can afford the house payments.
      I live in Mn and we live very comfortably. I am not sure we would be able to maintain our standard along the Ca, Or or Wa coast. The dry side of Wa or Or would be doable, but still more expensive than here.
      Interesting reading.

    • They'll pay if they're able to. Again you are focused on the rich but most people aren't rich. Many people want to live there and yes they're willing to pay more but they end up living in conditions that are worse than in places where the cost of housing is reasonable. The same thing is happening in Vancouver, Canada.

    • If the total population is low, it’s not small. But if the sample size in the tens of millions, it might be ok but the US population is 321 million making 30k kinda small