The worst states to live in America, according to an annual ranking put together by CNBC, may be worth avoiding, due to problems like rampant crime, economic instability, poor education and public health systems. And also, you can’t really ski at any of them (except New Mexico…). Coincidence?
To find out what states may be lagging in all these areas, we studied Quality of Life, one of the 10 categories of competitiveness in CNBC’s annual America’s Top States for Business 2019 study, worth 300 out of 2,500 total points. The category is key in our study because it is one of the most important things businesses look at when deciding where to locate or expand. We use hard datato evaluate all 50 states as places to live — factors including economic opportunity, local attractions, public health, crime, environmental quality and inclusiveness, as measured by legal protections written into state laws.
These 9 states are America’s worst places to live in 2019:
- Arkansas – “a high crime rate; poor health care, including the nation’s fifth highest rate of infectious disease.”
- Alabama – “one of America’s least healthy states, with high death rates from cancer and cardiovascular disease. And this sweet home ranks sixth in the nation for diabetes.”
- Tennessee – “particularly high rates of burglary and aggravated assault. Like many of its fellow southern states, Tennessee faces serious health challenges. The nation’s fifth highest rate of cancer deaths and the sixth highest rate of diabetes.”
- Louisiana – “America’s unhealthiest state. But it is not just the rich food. Louisianans are heavy smokers, they suffer high rates of mental stress; child poverty and the crime rate are high.”
- Oklahoma – “one of the highest rates of physical inactivity, this state has America’s third highest obesity rate”
- New Mexico / Indiana (tie) – “New Mexico has a serious violent-crime problem — the second highest rate in the country.” “Indiana has one of the highest rates of people who smoke — nearly 23% of adults.”
- Missouri – “has the sixth highest violent crime rate in the country, and has the 11th highest rate of preventable hospitalizations in the nation.”
- Mississippi – “has the nation’s highest cardiovascular death rate and the highest infant mortality rate.”