News & Opinion | August 17, 2022 11:19 am

What’s the Best State to Live in Right Now? Mississippi, 2022 Ain’t Your Year.

WalletHub compared the 50 states based on 52 key indicators of livability and came up with a winner

A United States flag shoved into a cheap plastic globe.
The best state in the nation is one of the 13 original colonies.
Getty Images

Due to rising temperatures, an increase in mass shootings and a lack of Choco Tacos, perhaps none of the 50, nifty United States are as attractive places to live as they were even a year ago, but some are still better than others in 2022.

At least that’s the conclusion that WalletHub reached after comparing all of America’s states across five key dimensions: affordability, economy, education and health, quality of life and safety. Those categories were further broken down into 52 key indicators of livability such violent-crime rate, average hours worked per week, quality of public school system, wealth gap and housing affordability that were all weighed based on importance and awarded a score.

“Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable living conditions,” WalletHub explains. “For metrics marked with an asterisk (*), the square root of the population was used to calculate the population size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across states. Finally, we determined each state’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order the states.”

When all the calculations were complete, a winner was determined: the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Coming in first with a total score of 62.5 after finishing in the top 10 in four of the five key dimensions (economy, education and health, quality of life and safety), the Bay State was followed in the rankings by New Jersey (62.01), New York (60.64), Idaho (58.73) and Virginia (58.73). At the other end of the spectrum, Mississippi was ranked as the worst state to live in 2022 with a score of 39.77, just ahead of Alaska (40.93), Louisiana (41.94), Arkansas (42.42) and New Mexico (42.51).

In compiling the results, WalletHub turned to a panel of six experts, including George Mason University policy and government Professor Katrin B. Anacker. WalletHub asked their experts to answer some questions following the results. Anacker was asked: “What steps should a person take to determine if an area is right for him/her to move to?”

She responded: “First, try visiting the area in person, ideally multiple times. If there is time, try visiting in different seasons, different days of the week, and different times of the day. Second, try talking to locals, maybe at a restaurant, small café, or grocery store. Third, read up on the area based on multiple venues to obtain a diversity of viewpoints.”

Fourth, go get yourself some claw chowdah, a three-way roast beef sandwich or a bar pizza and move to Massachutsetts.