March 1 (UPI) -- Iowa is the best state to live in -- and Louisiana is the worst, according to a new ranking by U.S. News and World Report this week that weighed a number of criteria.
The magazine considered each state's infrastructure, healthcare, opportunity, education and quality of life to determine the list. It rated based on thousands of data points within 77 metrics to measure state performance.
Iowa was ranked first in the United States for infrastructure, third for healthcare and fourth for opportunity. It received the highest overall average with all ratings combined.
Minnesota ranked second, followed by Utah, North Dakota and New Hampshire. Washington, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Vermont and Colorado rounded out the top 10.
Louisiana was rated last -- landing in the bottom 10 on all categories: healthcare (47), education (49), economy (44), opportunity (50), infrastructure (44), crime (48), fiscal stability (48) and quality of life (42). Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia and Alabama preceded Louisiana at the bottom.
Based solely on quality of life, California rated as the worst state in the nation. New Jersey (49), Indiana (48) and Texas (46) also received low marks in the category.
"At a time when the federal government is attempting to hand more responsibility for spending and policymaking to the states, these rankings offer the first comprehensive view, state by state, of how some states already are performing best," the report said.
The top-rated states for the other categories are Hawaii (healthcare), Massachusetts (education), Colorado (economy), New Hampshire (opportunity), Maine (crime), Utah (fiscal stability) and North Dakota (quality of life).