(RNN) – By providing its residents with the tools to succeed economically and access to high-quality healthcare, Iowa ranks as the state that best serves its citizens, according to U.S. News & World Report.
For its 2018 Best States study, U.S. News evaluated all 50 states across a range of criteria that included education, healthcare, infrastructure and the economy.
Iowa came out on top of the list for infrastructure, due to high scores for internet access, public transportation, commute times and bridge and road quality.
The state also scored highly in the areas of healthcare, education and opportunity.
"Our Best States ranking from U.S. News is a humbling tribute to our people who have proven time and again that in Iowa, if you're willing to work hard, you can accomplish anything," Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds told U.S. News.
The purpose of the study, according to U.S. News Chairman Eric Gertler, is to measure how well states are performing for their citizens and to “empower citizens, business leaders and policymakers to engage in improving their states.”
Healthcare and education were weighted most heavily in the study, based on a survey of what matters most to people, U.S. News writes.
Behind Iowa, the remaining top 10 states are Minnesota, Utah, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Washington, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Vermont and Colorado.
The report notes the top 10 states overall are geographically and politically diverse.
“At a time when the federal government is attempting to hand more responsibility for spending and policymaking to the states, these rankings offer the first comprehensive view, state by state, of how some states already are performing best,” the study says.
However, where there are best-performing states, there are also worst-performing states.
Louisiana takes the last spot on the 2018 Best States list, with low scores in opportunity, education, healthcare, crime and corrections and fiscal stability.
The remaining bottom 10 states are Mississippi, New Mexico, West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Alaska, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Kentucky.
The Best States scores have been added to U.S. News’ Best States portal, which allows for easy state-to-state comparisons, the company says.
U.S. News says its goal is to allow all the states to learn from one another in order to improve and better serve their citizens.
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