We all love a list and Minnesotans LOVE to rank on a list!
US News and World Report has ranked MN as the 5th best state in the US in which to live.
Coming in first would obviously be better and the transplanted Minnesotan in me doesn’t even want to look at who beat us (it’s UTAH?!?! WHUT?), I just want to join my fellow North Star state residents in the chest thumping a bit.
If you’re thinking about moving to the 5th best state in the US (according to US NEWS I’m surprised there isn’t an uprising of Minnesotans protesting this ranking) I do have a free relocation guide you can download, just click that link.
What inspired them to rank MN so highly? (but not high enough!) The rankings are based on criteria like the economy, education, fiscal stability, health care, infrastructure, natural environment and opportunity.
I’m going to hit these in order and give some context around what US News decided and why they may need to re-evaluate in the future.
The economy includes things like job growth, unemployment rate, and labor force participation as well as the business environment. Minnesota ranked 15th in the nation by this metric.
I don’t know when they did that ranking but I just checked the unemployment rate here and we are at 2.8%, so Minnesota is HIRING. If you’re looking for job opportunities this is a good place to look. We are also the HQ for 12 Fortune 500 companies and I believe that is the highest number for a mid-sized city. We are lucky in that our economy is very diverse and we aren’t tied to the fortunes of any one industry.
Education: We ranked 21st for education and I am actually surprised by this ranking! MN prides itself on it’s educational system. This ranking takes into account k-12 and higher ed. For k-12 It measures state performance across the life cycle of a young person’s education, encompassing preschool enrollment, standardized testscores among eighth-graders, high school graduation rate and college readiness.
The higher education subcategory comprises metrics reflecting the share of citizens in each state holding college degrees, as well as college graduation rates, the cost of in-state tuition and fees, and the burden of debt that college graduates carry. Minnesota actually ranks #2 behind Massachusetts when you look at the number of residents aged 22-54 that have a college degree – 54% of people have one per the MN office of Higher Ed.
The state legislature JUST passed a 2.2 BILLION dollar funding bill in support of k-12 education in MN. A big component of this bill is a change in the way that education is funded, it ties funding to inflation so that education funding stays somewhat more current. It will be interesting to see how these changes affect the student outcomes and if it translates in the rankings later on.
Again – a curious ranking at 21! We had a budget surplus of 17.5 BILLION dollars. The rankings looked at the ability of a state to meet their short and long term fiscal obligations. One thing we may have gotten dinged on was that a bonding bill at the super low interest rates last year did not pass.
We ranked 15th for health care. U.S. News examined metrics reflecting health care access, health care quality and public health outcomes. We ranked very well on mental health, we have low infant mortality, low obesity, low smoking rate, low mortality rates and a low suicide rate.
We ranked #1 for infrastructure! We’re number 1, we’re number 1! This metric takes into account metrics such as a state’s use of renewable energy, the quality of its roads and bridges, and its residents’ access to high-speed internet. The state of MN is focused on renewable energy and providing high speed internet access to everyone in the state. The legislature just passed major investments in both and the state has set the goal of
- establishing a standard to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity and 55% renewable electricity by 2040.
- adapting our grid through transmission upgrades to enable greater reliability and renewable energy access and integration.
- improving building codes and standards so that all new commercial and large multi-family buildings produce net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2036.
We ranked #7 for natural environment.
This takes into account air and water pollution. Not bad for an overall ranking, MN is trying to mitigate this and there are ongoing disputes about mining in Northern MN and what it does to the water.
We ranked #9 for Opportunity.
The opportunity category encompasses metrics reflecting economic opportunity, affordability and equality within a state. This category focuses on gender and racial equity and access to education, the ability to achieve equal pay and the ability to access adequate housing.
When they look at these as a whole we end up at #5 in the nation! I’ll take it! Will you? If you have questions about anything related to living in or moving to MN, reach out. I love talking to people who meet me on YouTube or the blog!