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Best States to Live in 2023

Massachusetts & New Hampshire Ranked Top States in 2023

Is your state among the best to live in this year? WalletHub has an answer.

Researchers at the personal finance publication ranked the 50 states based on scores in five categories: affordability, economy, education and health, quality of life, and safety.

Massachusetts topped 2023’s list, scoring 61 out of 100. New Jersey came in second. New Hampshire, New York, and Wyoming fill out the rest of the top five states to live in, in that order. WalletHub says its rankings reflect the states' scores on 51 “livability” indicators, each weighted differently. Here's a breakdown of the five categories, each category worth 20 points, with a total maximum score of 100:

Affordability: Takes into account the cost of living, housing price including, median household income, home ownership and median annual property taxes.

Economy: Indicators include the state unemployment rate, poverty rate, and wealth gap among others.

Quality of life: Measured by commute times, infrastructure quality, access to walking and bike trails, air quality and weather among several other indicators.

Education and health: Indicators including the quality of the public school and hospital systems, life expectancy and the premature death rate.

Safety: WalletHub looks at violent and property crime rates, traffic deaths and the number of law enforcement employees.

Which states are people moving to?

In 2021, thousands of California residents picked up and moved across the country to Texas, with 111,000 people – or 300 people a day – headed to Texas from the Golden State, an 80% increase compared to 2012, according to data from the U.S. census and IPUMS.

Florida also experienced a major influx of residents during the pandemic, especially those with high incomes. SmartAsset, a personal finance site, analyzed the migration patterns of households in the US making $200,000 or above. Florida added a net total of 27,500 high-earning families between 2020 and 2021.

New York along with California experienced the largest negative net-migration of high-income residents. This migration of high-income earners can be attributed to rising inflation and increased cost of living.


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