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.
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…
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?”
|Adult Dental Visits||19|
|Adult Wellness Visits||42|
|Child Dental Visits||3|
|Child Wellness Visits||12|
|Health Care Affordability||16|
|Health Insurance Enrollment||18|
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.
|2-Year College Grad. Rate||11|
|4-Year College Grad. Rate||5|
|Low Debt at Graduation||10|
|Tuition and Fees||24|
|Pre-K – 12||16|
|High School Grad. Rate||38|
|NAEP Math Scores||12|
|NAEP Reading Scores||21|
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.
Crime & Corrections
|Change in Incarceration Rate||25|
|Equality in Juvenile Jailing||12|
|Least Juvenile Incarceration||21|
|Low Incarceration Rate||10|
|Low Prison Overpopulation||34|
|Low Property Crime Rate||48|
|Low Violent Crime Rate||17|
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)
|Public Transit Usage||3|
|Power Grid Reliability||47|
|Renewable Energy Usage||2|
|Households With Internet Access||2|
|Online Download Speed||6|
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.
|Low Food Insecurity||19|
|Low Poverty Rate||17|
|Disability Employment Rate||23|
|Education Equality by Race||28|
|Employment Equality by Race||8|
|Racial Gap in Income||37|
|Cost of Living||38|
Ranked 11th overall, Washington was ranked as the 6th best in growth, 26th in employment, and 9th in business environment.
|Growth of Young Population||9|
|Labor Force Participation||26|
|Low Unemployment Rate||39|
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.
|Government Budget Balancing||26|
|Government Credit Rating||16|
|Pension Fund Liability||16|
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: