The states where Americans have the best quality of life, ranked

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  • U.S. News & World report ranked the best states in the US for quality of life.
  • Quality of life includes the quality of the natural environment, like water and air quality, and the quality of the social environment, like community engagement and voter participation.
  • Of every state in the US, North Dakota residents have the highest quality of life.

The US is an enormous country and quality of life varies from state to state.

Thanks to data published by U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday, we can decisively say which state’s residents enjoy the highest quality of life in America.

The rankings, formed in partnership with McKinsey and Co., considered two metrics for each state: its natural environment, comprising drinking-water quality, air quality, and pollution and industrial toxins; and its social environment, comprising community engagement, social support, and voter participation.

Despite its small population, North Dakota topped the list, with two other Midwestern states, Minnesota and Wisconsin, finishing second and third.

Read on to see where your state ranks:


50. California

Facebook/SF Gate

Natural environment ranking: 44

Social environment ranking: 47


49. New Jersey

Natural environment ranking: 32

Social environment ranking: 49


48. Indiana

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Natural environment ranking: 46

Social environment ranking: 43


47. Illinois

Shuttestock

Natural environment ranking: 50

Social environment ranking: 35


46. Texas

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Natural environment ranking: 38

Social environment ranking: 46


45. West Virginia

David Byron Keener/Shutterstock

Natural environment ranking: 47

Social environment ranking: 40


44. Pennsylvania

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Natural environment ranking: 45

Social environment ranking: 41


43. Nevada

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Natural environment ranking: 30

Social environment ranking: 50


42. Louisiana

Natural environment ranking: 49

Social environment ranking: 31


41. Virginia

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Natural environment ranking: 39

Social environment ranking: 44


40. Ohio

Flickr Creative Commons

Natural environment ranking: 48

Social environment ranking: 29


39. Arizona

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Natural environment ranking: 40

Social environment ranking: 34


38. Connecticut

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Natural environment ranking: 36

Social environment ranking: 39


37. New York

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Natural environment ranking: 10

Social environment ranking: 48


36. Hawaii

Oliver Le/Shutterstock

Natural environment ranking: 31

Social environment ranking: 37


35. Alabama

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Natural environment ranking: 43

Social environment ranking: 27


34. North Carolina

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Natural environment ranking: 37

Social environment ranking: 25


33. Florida

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Natural environment ranking: 1

Social environment ranking: 45


32. Georgia

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Natural environment ranking: 15

Social environment ranking: 38


31. Maryland

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Natural environment ranking: 29

Social environment ranking: 26


30. South Carolina

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Natural environment ranking: 22

Social environment ranking: 33


29. Michigan

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Natural environment ranking: 35

Social environment ranking: 23


28. Tennessee

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Natural environment ranking: 24

Social environment ranking: 32


27. Kentucky

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Natural environment ranking: 34

Social environment ranking: 22


26. Vermont

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Natural environment ranking: 27

Social environment ranking: 28


25. Massachusetts

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Natural environment ranking: 3

Social environment ranking: 42


24. Delaware

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Natural environment ranking: 23

Social environment ranking: 30


23. Rhode Island

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Natural environment ranking: 4

Social environment ranking: 36


22. Utah

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Natural environment ranking: 41

Social environment ranking: 6


21. Washington

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Natural environment ranking: 7

Social environment ranking: 24


20. Idaho

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Natural environment ranking: 26

Social environment ranking: 12


19. Alaska

Natural environment ranking: 42

Social environment ranking: 1


18. Oregon

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Natural environment ranking: 19

Social environment ranking: 15


17. Oklahoma

Natural environment ranking: 28

Social environment ranking: 9


16. Kansas

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Natural environment ranking: 16

Social environment ranking: 16


15. Missouri

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Natural environment ranking: 14

Social environment ranking: 18


14. Nebraska

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Natural environment ranking: 21

Social environment ranking: 13


13. Montana

Natural environment ranking: 33

Social environment ranking: 2


12. Maine

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Natural environment ranking: 25

Social environment ranking: 8


11. Wyoming

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Natural environment ranking: 11

Social environment ranking: 19


10. Colorado

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Natural environment ranking: 8

Social environment ranking: 20


9. Iowa

Natural environment ranking: 18

Social environment ranking: 10


8. New Mexico

Natural environment ranking: 17

Social environment ranking: 11


7. Arkansas

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Natural environment ranking: 5

Social environment ranking: 21


6. Mississippi

Natural environment ranking: 9

Social environment ranking: 17


5. South Dakota

Natural environment ranking: 6

Social environment ranking: 14


4. New Hampshire

Natural environment ranking: 13

Social environment ranking: 7


3. Wisconsin

Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Natural environment ranking: 20

Social environment ranking: 5


2. Minnesota

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Natural environment ranking: 12

Social environment ranking: 4


1. North Dakota

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Natural environment ranking: 2

Social environment ranking: 3

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