Massachusetts tops the list: 10 best and worst states to live in this year, per WalletHub

 Is your state among the best to live in this year? WalletHub has an answer. 

Researchers at the personal finance publication ranked the 50 states based on scores in five categories: affordability, economy, education and health, quality of life, and safety. 

Massachusetts topped 2022’s list, touting a score of 62.65 out of 100. New Jersey came in second, dropping from the top spot last year. New York, Idaho, and Virginia fill out the rest of the top five states to live in, in that order. Virginia is the only new addition to the top five, bumping Minnesota off the list. 

Several Southern states – Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas, among others – rounded out the bottom of WalletHub's rankings. 

WalletHub named Massachusetts the best state to live in in 2022.

What went into WalletHub's state scores?

WalletHub says its rankings reflect the states' scores on a total of 52 “livability” indicators, each weighted differently. Here's a breakdown of the five categories:

Affordability: Takes into account cost of living, housing prices, median household income, home ownership, and median annual property taxes. 

Economy: Indicators include the state unemployment rate, poverty rate, and wealth gap, among others. 

Quality of life: Measured by commute times, infrastructure quality, access to walking and bike trails, air quality, and weather among several other indicators. 

Education and health: Indicators include the quality of the public school and hospital systems, life expectancy, and the premature death rate. 

Safety: WalletHub looks at violent and property crime rates, traffic deaths, and the number of law enforcement employees. 

Each category is worth 20 points, with a total maximum score of 100. 

2022's top 10 best states to live in 

  • 1. Massachusetts; Score: 62.65
  • 2. New Jersey; Score: 62.01
  • 3. New York; Score: 60.64
  • 4. Idaho; Score: 58.73
  • 5. Virginia; Score: 58.73
  • 6. New Hampshire; Score: 58.25
  • 7. Florida; Score: 58.07
  • 8. Wyoming; Score: 58
  • 9. Minnesota; Score: 57.99
  • 10. Wisconsin; Score: 57.92 

Want to buy a 'fixer-upper' home? Here are the top US cities

2022's worst 10 states to live in

  • 41. West Virginia; Score: 46.84
  • 42. Kentucky; Score: 46.39
  • 43. Alabama; Score: 45.61 
  • 44. Oklahoma; Score: 43.82
  • 45. South Carolina; Score: 43.80
  • 46. New Mexico; Score: 42.51 
  • 47. Arkansas; Score: 42.42
  • 48. Louisiana; Score: 41.74
  • 49. Alaska; Score: 40.93
  • 50. Mississippi; Score: 39.77

Is your state in the middle of the pack? See WalletHub's full rankings.

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