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Minnesota is second-best state, magazine says

By JOSEPH LINDBERG, St. Paul Pioneer Press Not all pieces of our fair union are equal, but Minnesota might be more equal than most. An analysis from Politico magazine ranks Minnesota the second-best state, trailing only New Hampshire. The ranking...

By JOSEPH LINDBERG, St. Paul Pioneer Press

Not all pieces of our fair union are equal, but Minnesota might be more equal than most.
An analysis from Politico magazine ranks Minnesota the second-best state, trailing only New Hampshire. The ranking system used 14 different criteria ranging from health care to wealth to education.
The ranking, released Friday, relied heavily on statistics from the Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Education Statistics and the FBI.
Politico magazine doesn’t claim the ranking is scientific or comprehensive. California has the eighth-largest economy on the planet and Texas has a population that dwarfs most countries - few approaches can balance those kinds of factors.
But there is precedence. H.L. Mencken and Charles Angoff of the American Mercury magazine created a list in 1931, according to Politico. While their approach was much, much different (it used the number of lynchings as a factor for public safety), their approach still agreed that health and education reflected well on a state’s development.
Only one other Upper Midwest state ranked in the top 10: Iowa in eighth place. North Dakota ranked 16th, South Dakota 18th and Wisconsin 19th.
Here are the 14 criteria Politico magazine used, with Minnesota’s rank in parenthesis:
* Highest percentage employed in science, tech, engineering and mathematics (11)
* Lowest crime rate (9)
* Least income inequality (14)
* Highest reading scores (8)
* Highest math scores (3)
* Highest reported wellbeing (3)
* Lowest obesity rate (13)
* Lowest infant mortality rate (10)
* Highest percentage of high school graduates (10)
* Highest home ownership (2)
* Lowest poverty rate (10)
* Lowest unemployment rate (9)
* Wealthiest per capita (12)

The Pioneer Press is a media partner with Forum News Service.

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