Using 70 different metrics, U.S. News & World Report put together its annual list of the nation’s best states based on how well state governments serve their citizens.
Alaska ended up 44th on its list of 50 states, and we suppose it should be no surprise in a state where lawmakers stall a legislative session for 30 days while they jockey for power and we routinely waste hundreds of millions of dollars on boondoggles.
The Frozen North ranked 25th in health care, 47th in education, 46th in economy, 40th when it comes to infrastructure, 18th in opportunity, 48th in fiscal stability, 48th in crime and corrections and 45th in natural environment.
About the only really good news down near the bottom of the barrel in the U.S. News & World Report rankings is that Alaska beat out Arkansas, New Mexico, W. Virginia, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana. Still, it is not much to write home about.
The different metrics used to determine rankings in the eight categories were weighted differently, the web-based publisher says, with health care and education weighted most heavily, with state economies, infrastructure, and opportunity next. Those were followed by crime and corrections, and the natural environment.
How they were weighted was determined by three surveys, which asked Americans about their satisfaction with their state governments and where they thought their resources should be focused, U.S. News & World Report says.
Based on the numbers, it could be argued Alaska has a lot of work to do. If not, we may be well on our way to being just like Appalachia, only colder and darker for long stretches of time.