Washington Ranked 5th Best State To Live

Coming as no surprise to anyone living in Washington State, a new report ranks it as the 5th best state in America. With abundant outdoor activities, quality higher education and a diverse employment base Washington State is a great place to live and to visit. Now thanks to US News and World Report we have data to show just how great Washington is!

Living in Washington State

US News and World Report just completed their first ranking of states. Using thousands of data points, the report measures how each state is performing in 7 major areas. The goal of the report is to have citizens and government leaders engage in discussions on what needs improvement and how to make those improvements across the country.

In addition to finishing 5th overall, Washington ranked highest among the west coast states. Oregon was next, coming in at 19th and California was ranked 23rd.

Washington is now home to over 7 million people and is expecting another 2 million to live in the state by 2040. This growth will create many opportunities for the State and residents to work together to continue to improve on the basic services and infrastructure needed to keep Washington ranked at or near the top in the near future.

Detailed Rankings

Here are some quick numbers that show how Washington State tends to be “above average” in a lot of categories:

  • Washington finished in the top 10 for Health Care, Education, Infrastructure, and Government.
  • Washington finished in the top 25 for Crime & Corrections, Opportunity, and Economy.
  • Overall, Washington State averaged a score of 11 out of 46 in all areas.

How Washington Ranked For…

Healthcare

Washington ranked 9th overall in the healthcare category.

This ranking was based on the following question: “How affordable and accessible is health care to Washington State residents?”

Open Healthcare Chart

Healthcare

National Rank

Adult Dental Visits19
Adult Wellness Visits42
Child Dental Visits3
Child Wellness Visits12
Health Care Affordability16
Health Insurance Enrollment18

Education

When Pre-K – 12 education was measured Washington ranked 16th. Notably, the 4 year college graduation rate earned 5th place in the nation. Total ranking was 7th overall.

Open Education Chart

Education

National Rank

2-Year College Grad. Rate11
4-Year College Grad. Rate5
Educational Attainment10
Low Debt at Graduation10
Tuition and Fees24
Pre-K – 1216
College Readiness11
High School Grad. Rate38
NAEP Math Scores12
NAEP Reading Scores21
Pre-K Quality2
Preschool Enrollment35

 

Crime and Corrections

In the crime and corrections category, Washington State ranked 25th. Even though we scored 2nd place in corrections, public safety was a below average 37th.

Open Crime and Corrections Chart

Crime & Corrections

National Rank

Corrections2
Change in Incarceration Rate25
Equality in Juvenile Jailing12
Least Juvenile Incarceration21
Low Incarceration Rate10
Low Prison Overpopulation34
Parole Completion1
Public Safety37
Low Property Crime Rate48
Low Violent Crime Rate17

Infrastructure

2nd place finish based on having the 2nd best internet, 7th in energy, and 20th in transportation (have they been here?! Traffic on I-5 is no picnic folks)

Open Infrastructure Chart

Infrastructure

National Rank

Transportation20
Bridge Quality6
Commute Time40
Public Transit Usage3
Road Quality41
Energy7
Electricity Price1
Power Grid Reliability47
Renewable Energy Usage2
Internet Access2
Households With Internet Access2
Online Download Speed6

Opportunity

Washington ranked 16th overall in the opportunity category. Pretty good overall, but dragged down by ranking 41st in affordability – the Washington’s worst showing in any of the metrics.

Open Opportunity Chart

Opportunity

National Rank

Economic Opportunity16
Gini Index18
Household Income10
Low Food Insecurity19
Low Poverty Rate17
Equality17
Disability Employment Rate23
Education Equality by Race28
Employment Equality by Race8
Gender Equality14
Racial Gap in Income37
Affordability41
Cost of Living38
Housing Affordability46

Economy

Ranked 11th overall, Washington was ranked as the 6th best in growth, 26th in employment, and 9th in business environment.

Open Economy Chart

Economy

National Rank

Growth6
GDP Growth7
Growth of Young Population9
Net Migration8
Employment26
Job Growth9
Labor Force Participation26
Low Unemployment Rate39
Business Environment9
Entrepreneurship35
Patent Creation3

Government

Washington State ranked 8th overall with scores of 18th in fiscal stability, 24th in budget transparency, 6th in government digitization, and finishing 7th in state integrity.

Open Government Chart

Government

National Rank

Fiscal Stability18
Government Budget Balancing26
Government Credit Rating16
Pension Fund Liability16
Government Digitalization6
Budget Transparency24
State Integrity7

Washington is a Great Place to Live

Event though there are certain areas where Washington state can improve, the overwhelming majority of rankings for the Evergreen State were above average.

These findings were published here on the US World News and World Report. The full report provides greater detail on each of these categories and we encourage you to take some time and go and review the full list of rankings. Washington State had solid ranking across all 7 major categories finishing in the top 50% of every category.

While a report in a national publication is great to help you get a broad overall view of an area, we know that nothing beats actually spending time in an area to see how it actually feels.

Explore Washington State is here to help you learn more about the communities, towns, and cities in Washington. Using local resources, we are your go-to place for everything Washington. You can search for all our online resources below:

Scott Cowan

A lifelong resident of Washington who grew up in Tacoma, and spent his six freshman years attending CWU in Ellensburg, Scott’s professional life was spent in Olympia, Seattle and Tacoma. Deciding that the traffic on the west side was too much, Scott moved with his family to Wenatchee where they are settling in and finding that there is life after the daily commute. With a passion for good caffeine, hard ciders, and pizza along with the scenic beauty of Washington State you will find Scott out and about in Washington State looking for that next magical cup of coffee.

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