Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, SQLI, Executive Summary
When it comes to quality of life, what's the best state?
A number of organizations have tackled that question, often focusing on just one way to think about which states are better and which states are worse: level of employment, health status, educational attainment, business climate, poverty rates and so on.
This study aggregates 19 different indices into one overall State Quality of Life Index. (SQLI). Our goal was to get a big picture "quality of life" rating of each state relative to all 50 states. In our study, we used 236 individual datasets from 19 different indices covering the years 1992 to 2012.
The state with the highest aggregate ranking during the 21-year period was New Hampshire. The worst performing state in our study was Mississippi. Minnesota finished 2nd overall and placed in the top five in every year of the study. Conversely, only Mississippi and West Virginia finished in the bottom five every year from 1992-2012. One state -- Nevada -- placed one year in the top five (2005) as well as one year in the bottom five (2012).
Our index produced year-by-year average rankings, as well as an overall SQLI ranking for each state relative to the other 49 states over the entire course of the study. These rankings allowed us to look at which states were trending better and which were displaying poorer performances during the study period.
The three states that experienced the greatest improvement from 1992 to 2012 were Texas, North Carolina and North Dakota. The three states that saw the biggest decline in its rankings from start to finish were Nevada, Connecticut and Illinois.
In Part One of our "Who Runs the States" report, we analyzed which party (Republican or Democratic) controlled the levers of state government in each state over the years 1992-2013. Matching our SQLI with the partisanship data in Part Three of our report series will allow us to identify trends relating to state government control and outcomes for residents. Is there any correlation between states trending better in SQLI and states trending toward one party? These results will be examined in Part Three of our study.
- Ballotpedia:Who runs the states
- Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Part One: State Partisanship
- Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Part Two: State Quality of life Index (SQLI)
- Part 1 Full report PDF
- Part 2 Full report PDF
- State government trifectas