U.S. News incorrectly ranks Minnesota as the 2nd best state

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National website U.S. News has wrongly placed Minnesota second in its 2018 Best States List.

We'd normally chalk it up to typical, East Coast media elitism, except that in the number 1 position is Iowa.

Seriously...how many Olympic gold medal winners does Iowa have? Because we have more than a dozen.


– What everyone is saying about Minnesota at the Olympics.

Joking aside, we shouldn't take it too personally – the rankings were compiled based on statistics rather than personal opinion.

Each state was ranked across several categories such as health, education, economy, opportunity, infrastructure and crime.

Within each categories there were sub-topics. In health, for example, states ranked highly if they have good health care access, high-quality healthcare and overall good public health.

What did Minnesota do well in?

Minnesota scored particularly well in "quality of life," ranking second overall because of the state's environmental and social health (which includes things like community engagement, voter turnout, pollution levels and air quality).

It also ranked highly in "economic opportunity," which takes into account poverty levels, median incomes and equality levels.

Minnesota performs less well (but still above average) in the "economy" and "fiscal stability" categories, placing 20th and 24th respectively.

The state's fiscal stability score might have been impacted by December budget projections showing the state faces a $188 million budget deficit, though lawmakers expect it to be a surplus when the latest projections are released in the coming days.

First-placed Iowa meanwhile scored high in infrastructure, healthcare and education.

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