SEATTLE — Washington state has once again been ranked the best state in the country, according to a new report from the U.S. News and World Report. Washington has held the top spot since 2019.
The publication annually ranks all 50 states based on several factors including health care, education, the economy and infrastructure, among others.
Washington ranked No. 8 in health care. According to the report, 9.5% of the population does not have health insurance, but it's below the national average of 12.9%. The obesity rate is also below the national average at 28.3%, compared to 32.1%, the report shows.
Education in Washington is ranked at No. 4. The report shows students graduate with approximately $4,000 less in debt than the national average. High school graduation rates are above the national average at 86.7%, compared to 85.3%.
Washington also ranked first for broadband access and GDP growth and tied for first for government credit rating score, according to the report. It also ranked in the top ten for the economy, infrastructure, and fiscal stability.
"I am so happy for the people of Washington to take home this honor again. It takes all 7.6 million of us to make this state the dynamic place it truly is. Washingtonians are motivated to lead and innovate in all aspects of our society, in labor, business, education, health, and so much more," said Gov. Jay Inslee in a statement on his Medium page. "It was that same spirit that helped us bounce back from being the first state in the nation hit by COVID-19, and we are on our way to a robust recovery because of our unique attributes."
While Washington was ranked No. 1 overall as a state, there is still room for improvement. The report shows the state ranked No. 25 (its lowest ranking) for opportunity, and within that category, it ranked No. 44 for affordability when it comes to the cost of daily life and housing.
The top overall states behind Washington were Minnesota, Utah, New Hampshire and Idaho.