Hawaii shines in one area of 'best states' ranking

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Hawaii has the nation's best beaches. A rich culture. A low violent crime rate. An unbeatable climate.

But is it the best state?

Not according to U.S. News and World Report.

In fact, according to the magazine's "Best States" ranking, Hawaii is just above average: 17th to be exact.

The ranking is based on surveys and a slew of data points, and looks at everything from health care and education to the economy, infrastructure, opportunity and quality of life.

Hawaii ranked first in the nation in just one category: Health care.

But on quality of life, the state is no. 36. And on fiscal stability, Hawaii is 35th.

On infrastructure, education and the economy, Hawaii ranked in the mid- to high 20s.

Each of the categories is broken out into additional rankings. Opportunity, for example, included everything from household income (fairly high) to the cost of living (highest in the nation).

And infrastrucutre included a review of electricity prices (also highest in the nation), commute times (no. 40 nationally), and ultra-fast internet access (sixth in the U.S.).

So what's the best state, according to the ranking? Iowa. Yes, Iowa.

Minnesota took the no. 2 spot and Utah rounded out the top three.

Louisiana was named the worst state in the nation, while Mississippi took the no. 40 spot and New Mexico came in at no. 48.

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