FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- Connecticut is first in the nation when it comes to dental visits and last when it comes to road quality, according to U.S. News & World Report, which listed the Nutmeg State at No. 12 in a quality of life ranking of all 50 states.
The U.S. News & World Report ranking measured each state based on data in several different categories: health care, education, crime and corrections, infrastructure, opportunity, economy, and government. Each category was broken up into a number of subcategories. The No. 1 state in the country according to the ranking is Massachusetts, followed by New Hampshire, Minnesota, North Dakota, Washington, Iowa, Utah, Maryland, Colorado and Vermont. The lowest-ranked state on the list was Louisiana.
Connecticut ranked highest in areas of health, education, public safety and income, while it performed poorly in areas of income equality, economy, and government spending. Its individual rankings were:
- Health Care: No. 12
- Education: No. 4
- Crime & Corrections: No. 8
- Infrastructure: No. 26
- Opportunity: No. 15
- Economy: No. 38
- Government: No. 20
The only two factors where Connecticut ranked No. 1 were adult dental visits and child dental visits. Conversely, it ranked No. 50 in road quality and government budget balancing.
The other areas where Connecticut ranked in the top 10 were: health insurance enrollment (No. 10), low mortality rate (No. 5), low obesity rate (No. 9), low smoking rate (No. 3), low suicide rate (No. 5), higher education educational attainment (No. 3), college readiness (No. 3), NAEP reading scores (No. 4), preschool enrollment (No. 2), least juvenile incarceration (No. 4), low property crime rate (No. 7), low violent crime rate (No. 6), households with internet access (No. 6), online download speed (No. 3), household income (No. 5), low poverty rate (No. 6), gender equality (No. 2), patent creation (No. 7), budget transparency (No. 5), and state integrity (No. 3).
The other areas where it ranked in the bottom 10 were: fewest nursing home citations (No. 48), 2-year college graduation rate (No. 46), low debt at graduation (No. 43), equality in juvenile jailing (No. 48), electricity price (No. 49), Gini index (No. 49), disability employment rate (No. 48), education equality by race (No. 40), racial gap in income (No. 48), cost of living (No. 47), GDP growth (No. 43), net migration (No. 45), job growth (No. 45), entrepreneurship (No. 48), and government credit rating (No. 43).
In a statement, Gov. Dannel Malloy praised Connecticut's ranking on the list.
“Connecticut is a great place to put down roots, raise a family, and grow a business – but our government must always be working to make it even better,” Malloy said. “Our state residents should be particularly proud that their home state is a leader when it comes to gender equality and education, and home to some of the most educated and skilled workforces in the country. We have much more work ahead, but there is no denying the real progress taking place already.”
“I’m pleased that Connecticut has been recognized as a top state by the very residents who live and work here,” said Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman. “Being ranked second in gender equality is especially relevant since it is directly related to the overall health and well-being of our families, our economy, and the strength of our communities. We have more work to do, but this is a strong indicator that we are on the right track.”