California Has the Worst 'Quality of Life' in the Country, Says New Study

See which state has the best quality of life and which took the top spot overall

The Golden State’s reputation just got tarnished.

In a new study by U.S. News that ranked the “quality of life” of residents of every state, among other factors, found that Californians came in last place, just after New Jersey at 49th and Indiana in 48th.

The “quality of life” category takes into account a state’s “air quality, pollution, voter participation, social support and more,” according to U.S. News.

The state with the best quality of life was North Dakota, followed by Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The study also judged states on their infrastructure, health care, education, economy, opportunity, fiscal responsibility and crime and corrections, and used these factors to determine the “Best State” overall.


Iowa took top honors. It ranked first in infrastructure, third in health care, fourth in opportunity and fifth in education. The study weighted the things people care about most — health care and education — more heavily, U.S. News explains. Fiscal responsibility and quality of life were found to be least important to people.

Last year, in its first ever “Best State” report, U.S. News put Iowa in sixth. Massachusetts earned 2017’s top spot, ranking first in education, second in health care and fifth in economy.

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