The 20 States Where You Should Avoid Living In 2023

Quality of life indicators, as defined by the World Health Organization (WHO), investigate how people feel about themselves and their ability to meet basic needs.

The World Health Organization (WHO) states that measuring quality of life is an attempt to learn about an individual's sense of social status and the extent to which their basic needs are met, their goals are achieved, and their concerns are addressed. The material conditions of a population, such as housing and income, and the immaterial conditions, such as health, education, and security, are what determine that population's well-being. Researchers and policymakers can learn more about the effectiveness of government and social programs by measuring the quality of life of large populations.

Despite the fact that the United States is ranked 20th in quality of life metrics worldwide, people in different states have vastly different experiences due to varying policies and programs. Once a year, the United States S Each year, News and World Report ranks the states based on how well they meet certain quality-of-life criteria. The states at the bottom of the list have a reputation for having a low standard of living overall.

How It Is Calculated

The Best State Rankings compile information from a variety of sources, including in-depth surveys, to assess the standard of living and the efficiency of state governments in all 50 US states. The study ranks them using an analysis of 71 metrics spread across 8 categories.

These are the types that are covered:

  • Obesity rates, smoking prevalence, and mortality rates are just a few examples of the health indicators that are measured as part of healthcare's broader metrics for measuring access and quality.
  • In terms of education, we consider things like how well students do in elementary and secondary school, how many of them graduate high school, how much they spend on higher education, and how much debt they carry afterward.
  • Potential economic growth is the focus of economic indicators such as the creation rate of new businesses and the number of new jobs.
  • Metrics for infrastructure cover areas like internet availability and road quality in addition to the performance of transportation, energy, and communication networks.
  • Affordability, economic opportunity, and accessibility are all quantified by the term "opport
  • State creditworthiness, annual budgets, and cash flow are just some of the indicators that are considered in the context of "fiscal stability."
  • Indicators of public security and corrections that are measured by Crime and Corrections include crime rates and incarceration statistics.
  • The term "Natural Environment" refers to the evaluation of environmental conditions, such as the purity of the surrounding air and water and the degree to which they have been poll

One metric can have an effect on another, and many of them are interconnected. States with fewer economic prospects may, for instance, have less resources to devote to social spending like education and healthcare. This may be why change in these countries moves so slowly. Included in the list of the ten worst states in the United S Since 2017, & World News' position in the rankings of major news outlets has been in the bottom ten.

A List of the Ten Worst Places to Live in the United States in 2022

University of Kentucky (Round 41)

  • Care for the Health Care System: 44
  • Literacy: 36
  • Scoring the economy in at a whopping 40
  • Buildings and Equipment: 18
  • Possibility, Twenty
  • Budgetary Soundness: 48
  • Infractions and Penal Institutions: 13
  • 29. Natural Setting

U S According to US News & World Report, Kentucky is the tenth best place to live in 2022. Despite the fact that the state outperforms the nation in crime, infrastructure, and opportunity metrics, fiscal instability and healthcare concerns overshadow some of its strengths.

There is a [[1]]8 billion dollar shortfall in 2021, making California one of the least financially stable states. According to WalletHub, Kentucky has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation.

Low rates of childhood immunizations and high rates of potentially avoidable hospitalizations are just two of the many health indicators in which Kentucky lags behind the rest of the country. According to America's Health Rankings, however, many of the state's healthcare issues stem from individual choices made by residents. When compared to the rest of the country, Kentucky has the lowest rates of exercise, fruit and vegetable consumption, and smoking and second-highest rates of sleep deprivation.

The Palmetto State (Rated #42 Overall)

  • Health Care System, 34
  • Degrees: 44
  • Number of employees in the economy, if applicable, is 18
  • Construction of 36 Related Facilities
  • Possibility: 38
  • Budgetary Stability, Rank 31
  • Punishment and Recidivism: 46
  • In a Natural Setting: 26

U.S. News and World Report ranks South Carolina as the ninth-worst place to call home. S & International Affairs mainly because of rising crime and educational deficiencies

With the fifth-highest homicide rate and a juvenile incarceration rate that is 10% higher than the national average, this state has one of the highest levels of violent crime in the country. While both murder and aggravated assault rates decreased significantly over the preceding 20 years, they have both been on the rise since 2016.

When compared to the rest of the country, South Carolina's public schools perform poorly on K-12 performance measures and high school graduation rates (81% to 85%). Quality Counts reports that South Carolina has one of the largest poverty gaps in the country. To what extent do poor and wealthy students receive different quality educations is quantified here. Numerous students in South Carolina are impacted by the poverty gap because the state has one of the highest poverty rates in the country.

As of right now, Oklahoma is in the 43rd position.

  • Treatment: 48
  • Average Years of Schooling: 42
  • Finances: 37
  • Built Environment: 21
  • Potential Gain: 26
  • 25 - Financial Security
  • Punishments and Recidivism: 44
  • Geophysical Setting: 34

U S Due to healthcare issues and high crime rates, & World News ranks Oklahoma as the eighth-worst state to live in.

Oklahomans have among the lowest rates of access to healthcare in the country. One in five residents in the state does not have health insurance, and 14% of residents cite financial concerns as a reason for avoiding necessary medical care. Additionally, the state has some of the highest rates of non-medical drug use and the second-lowest rates of both exercise and vegetable consumption in the country.

There has been an increase in violent crimes and the murder rate in Oklahoma has risen to the sixteenth highest in the country. The state's incarceration rate, at 639 out of every 100,000 residents, is second highest in the country.

Placed at #44 on the list is the state of Arkansas.

  • Treatment: 49
  • A total of 41 have some college under their belts.
  • Commerce Rank: 41
  • Arrangements: 43
  • Possibility, 22,
  • Funding Security, Count 14
  • Punishments and Recidivism, 48
  • Setting: 30

When compared to the other states in the Union, Arkansas ranks 7. S rankings in U.S. News & World Report and other media outlets due to rising healthcare costs and violent crime.

There is a nationwide crisis in dental care accessibility, and Arkansas is near the bottom. Low rates of dental care utilization and a median age of 12 One in ten people say they have put off medical care because of costs. When it comes to smoking and heart disease, this state ranks second worst in the country.

With 586 inmates for every 100,000 residents, Arkansas has the fourth-highest incarceration rate in the country. And the state ranks #4 in the nation for its high rate of violent crime. There may be a correlation between the state's high crime rate and the state's high poverty rate, low income, and education levels.

There are only 45 states, and Alaska is ranked 45th.

  • Medical Care: 22
  • Degrees: 49
  • Financial System: 50
  • Buildings and Grounds: 40
  • Prospect: 43
  • Budgetary Security: 1
  • Punishment and Corrections Population: 49
  • Organic Setting: 46

U S & World News has once again ranked Alaska as the sixth worst state in which to reside.

The economy of Alaska has dropped to number 50 in the nation from number 46 in 2019. State revenues from oil and tourism suffered during the Covid-19 pandemic. The Alaskan Department of Labor reports that the state's economy lags the rest of the country in terms of job growth, unemployment rate, and wage growth, though it outpaced the rest of the country in job growth in the fourth quarter of 2021.

In the United States, murder, rape, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault are all considered violent crimes according to the National Institute of Justice. Alaska has the highest rate of violent crime in the country, despite having a homicide rate that is on par with the rest of the country.

The state of Alabama is ranked 46th in the country.

  • Treatments: 45
  • Number of College Graduates: 47
  • Statistics of the Economy: 38
  • Buildings and Equipment: 28
  • Possibility, 37
  • Budgetary Stability: 22
  • Punishment and Recidivism: 43
  • The natural environment, 37

When compared to other states, Alabama is the U.S.'s fifth-worst. S According to the United States Today & World News, the main causes are worries about the state of education and healthcare.

Since 2019, when it was ranked 50th in the nation, the state's education system has improved. As a result of low student performance and adult outcomes, Education Weekly's Quality Counts analysis rated the state as a D. There have been some successes in the field of early childhood education, but overall the state is lagging behind the rest of the country.

When compared to the rest of the country, Alabama's healthcare is below average. According to America's Health Rankings, the state is ranked 49th for overall health outcomes due to its low provider access. Some of the highest rates of depression, obesity, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease can be found here.

West Virginia (Rounding Out At #47)

  • When it comes to healthcare, the number is 47.
  • Degrees: 45
  • Commerce: 48
  • Transport and Infrastructure: 50
  • Occasion: 18
  • 28 - Budgetary Stability
  • Inmates and Criminal Activity, 23
  • Circumstances of Nature: 36

The state of West Virginia is the worst in the United States, coming in at number four. S World News, a position it has held since 2018. The low ranking of Mississippi is due in large part to the state's poor infrastructure, economy, and healthcare system.

The state has the worst infrastructure in the country. One-third of the roads in West Virginia are in very poor condition or worse. Infrastructurereportcard org has given West Virginia a failing grade of D, indicating that the state's systems are vulnerable due to the fact that many components are nearing the end of their service life.

Placed at #48 of the 50 states is New Mexico.

  • Treatments: 33
  • Literacy: 50
  • Budget: 44
  • Buildings and Grounds: 45
  • Optimism: 49
  • Finances: 35
  • Punishment and Recidivism: 47
  • The Environment, 31

According to the United States Census Bureau, New Mexico has the third-worst quality of life in the country, placing it at #48. S News from Around the World After rising to the top five in 2016, the state has dropped to the bottom five every year since 2017, primarily due to concerns about education and opportunity.

According to a study conducted by the EdWeek Research Center, New Mexico's public schools are the worst in the United States. The state has the lowest fourth-grade reading scores in the country. New Mexico has one of the lowest graduation rates in the country, with only 75% of students completing high school compared to the average of 85% across the rest of the country. 8%

The state's opportunity indicators are weak, and the poverty rate is particularly high at 17%. Additionally, the highest rate of child poverty in the country is found in the United States, where 26% of children live in poverty or less.

Mississippi (49th in the nation).

  • In the field of healthcare, the number 50
  • Degrees earned: 43
  • The Economy, Based on a Scale of 1 to 49
  • Establishment of 48
  • Chance: 44
  • Spending and Revenue Growth: 41
  • Crime and Prison Population, 33
  • Condition of Nature, Number 22

When compared to other states in the U.S., Mississippi is the second-worst. S & World News report, a position it has held largely steady in since the 2017 report, with the exception of a brief drop to the 48th spot in 2019. The state's consistently poor performance across a variety of metrics has kept it at or near the bottom of national rankings.

Due to poor access and outcomes, Mississippi has the worst healthcare in the country. Almost 20% of the population is uninsured. One-fourth of locals say they have put off getting medical treatment because of the expense. In addition, Mississippi ranks first in the country with a 38% obesity rate. 7.1% are overweight Infant mortality, C-section rates, premature births, and babies born with low birth weights are all highest in this state.

The Economic Hardship Index from America's Health Rankings places Mississippi at the bottom. The poverty rate in Mississippi is close to 19%. The state's per capita income of $25,300 ranks 50th in the country. Unemployment and food insecurity are also at their highest national levels.

Among the 50 states, Louisiana is in the bottom half.

  • Medicine and Health Care 46
  • Average Years of Schooling: 48
  • Affluence - 47
  • Arrangements: 47
  • Possibility: 48
  • Budgetary Security: 42
  • Inmates and Criminal Activity: 50
  • Organic Setting: 49

U S Every year since 2017, & World News has named Louisiana the worst state in the country. Dismal results on all fronts, but especially crime and schooling.

Criminal activity and the administration of justice are both issues of concern in Louisiana. There have been 15 homicides in the state, making it the deadliest in the country. The state's murder rate of 8.2 per 100,000 people is significantly lower than the national average of 11. 8.8 murders per 100,000 people With 680 inmates for every 100,000 people, it also has the highest incarceration rate in the country.

The state of Louisiana has some of the worst educational and employment prospects in the country. Food insecurity is also extremely high, and the state's poverty rate, at 19%, is the highest in the country. Both per-pupil spending and test scores in reading and mathematics at the end of the fourth and eighth grades are at or near the bottom of the national distribution.


The U S The U.S. & World News Best State Rankings compile a wide range of data to provide an overview of how well each state is providing for its residents' wants and needs. State governments with the worst records tend to be clustered in the South, implying that regional cultural norms may play a role in policymaking.

While the ten worst states in the country tend to stay in the same places year after year, the top ten are a much more fluid group, with the top spots frequently changing. The top states to live in in 2022 are listed here.

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