Illinois has another unfortunate distinction -- 25 percent say the state is the worst to live in. That puts it behind Rhode Island and Connecticut, where 17 percent rank their state as the worst.
The poll is a first for Gallup, which surveyed at least 600 residents of each state between June and December last year.
Generally, states described by residents as among the best places to live are in the west. The top 10 are Montana and Alaska at 77 percent each; Utah, 70 percent; Wyoming, 69 percent; Texas and Hawaii, 68 percent; New Hampshire, 67 percent; North Dakota, 66 percent; Colorado, 65 percent; and Vermont, Oregon and Minnesota, 61 percent.
One in four Texans say that state is the best one to live in, putting it at the head of the pack.
At the bottom, only 18 percent of Rhode Islanders describe the state as one of the best, followed by Illinois, 19 percent; Mississippi, 26 percent; Louisiana, 27 percent; Michigan, New Mexico and New Jersey, 28 percent; Maryland and Missouri, 29 percent; and Connecticut, 31 percent.
Residents who rate their states highly trust the government there and are happy with the standard of living and the levels of state taxation.
But Gallup found some anomalies. West Virginia has a sagging economy and residents who report a low standard of living and high stress levels, but more than one-third of its residents still say it is one of the best places to live.