Garden of the Gods

A new report released this week ranks Colorado as the 10th-best state to live.

The Best States ranking, issued by U.S. News & World Report, draws on thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their residents. In addition to health care and education, the metrics took into account a state’s economy, its roads, bridges, internet and other infrastructure, its public safety, the fiscal stability of state government, and the opportunity it affords its residents.

Washington, New Hampshire and Minnesota claimed the top three spots, with Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana coming in last.

The report gave more weight to some state measures than others, based on a survey of what matters most to people, the report said. Health care and education were weighted most heavily, followed by state economies, infrastructure, and the opportunities states offer their residents.

Fiscal stability followed closely behind, rounded out by measures of crime and corrections and a state’s natural environment.

Colorado claimed the top spot in economic rankings, which measured business environment, employment and growth. The Centennial State also ranked eighth in infrastructure; 11th in education, 12th in health care; 28th in opportunity; 29th in both fiscal stability and crime and corrections; and No. 31 in natural environment.

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“While [Colorado’s] geographic diversity and natural resources have been an economic boon as well as a draw for tourism, the state’s government has made efforts to diversify the economy over the past decades,” the report states.

U.S. News and World Report drew from extensive governmental and private sources, as well as propriety data — which included a national survey of what mattered most to residents around the country.

Among Colorado’s neighboring states, Utah ranks fourth, Nebraska ranks ninth, Kansas is 22nd, Wyoming is No. 31, Arizona is 34th, Oklahoma is No. 43, and New Mexico comes in at No. 46.