What are the best states to live in? You don't always get to choose where you live but what if you did? You can choose the kind of life you want depending on your needs. If education is your priority, you can choose to live in a state with excellent educational institutions.

On the other hand, if you are worried about the cost of living, you can always reside in a state that provides affordable services. This informative guide will provide insights into the best overall states you can move to. We will also include helpful statistics based on several aspects of the quality of life in different states.

Young family on a walk

Metrics to Consider When Choosing a State

The best states to live in depends on the following aspects.


The economy relies on factors such as economic growth opportunities, employment rates, business environment, etc. The best states have the strongest economies and the potential for economic prosperity. Some of the states with the highest Gross Domestic Product (GDP) include Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Massachusetts, and Washington.

Climate/Natural Environment

When choosing the best states to live in, consider its natural environment, pollution, weather, air quality, and water quality. You don't want to live in a state where pollution is the order of the day. According to WalletHub, the top states for natural environments include Hawaii, Vermont, New York, and Minnesota.


Healthcare is paramount when selecting a state to live in. Healthcare includes access to quality healthcare and the general health of the population. The top-ranking states in healthcare include Hawaii, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, and New Jersey.

Cost of living

The amount of money you spend on housing, healthcare, rent, and other basics influences where you choose to live. This cost differs from one state to the next. Consumers spend an average of $109 daily in the US. An average US household spends about $1,334 on electricity bills annually.

In January, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by 0.5%. According to World Population Review, the states with the lowest living cost include Mississippi, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Alabama.

Employment opportunities

The best states in the US have the highest employment rates. Employment was projected to grow by about 8.3 million jobs from 2021 to 2031. The states with the highest employment rates include Utah, South Carolina, Vermont, and North Dakota.


You want to feel safe in your own home. This is why security is important when determining the best states to live in. Some of the states with the highest crime rates include Alaska, Alabama, Tennessee, and the District of Columbia. The safest states are Vermont, Maine, New Jersey, and Florida.

Neighborhood watch sign

Educational institutions

Educational institutions vary from one state to the next. Academic excellence is one of the factors that we check when selecting the best states to reside in. Some of the top states for education include Florida, Washington, New Jersey, and Massachusetts,


How convenient is it to move from one place to another? Transport plays a major role when it comes to selecting the best states in the US. Transportation includes the quality of roads, ease of transport, and quality of transport. Some states with the best transportation include California, New York, Massachusetts, and Illinois.

Best States to Live In

The best states to live in depends on the factors that we have covered above. Below are some of the top-ranking states you can consider making your home.

South Carolina 

South Carolina is a beautiful state to live in, with its gorgeous landscape, pleasant weather, and rich history. Its beaches are beautiful and fresh seafood is available everywhere.

South Carolina is a quickly growing state, with lots of young people moving there. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, South Carolina’s population grew a whopping 1.7% from 2021 to 2022, behind only Florida and Idaho. On July 1, South Carolina’s population was estimated at 5,282,634, which is 89,368 more residents in the state than in 2021. 

There is no shortage of job opportunities in South Carolina, and they have a very highly ranked education system. There’s no doubt that South Carolina is a great place to relocate. 

The cost of living in South Carolina is 4% lower than the national average. The average yearly living expenses for a single person in the USA are $38,266 per year. In addition, housing is 15% lower than the national average. 


Washington is one of the top-ranking states in the US. One of the factors that make this state unique is its low carbon emission systems. Washington uses renewable energy to reduce its carbon footprint and conserve natural resources.

Washington is also one of the best states in terms of economic prosperity. Major technology companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Eagle View are based in Washington.

This state has one of the best education and healthcare systems making it the best state to live in. Washington has no state income tax and low crime rates. In August 2022, Washington added about 9,400 payroll jobs in the private sector.


Minnesota is ranked as one of the best states to live in by the US News and World Report. This city has the most beautiful natural environment, including numerous clean lakes. Living in Minnesota is also quite affordable.

Utility costs in Minnesota are around 3% lower than the national average while the housing cost is about 11% lower. Minnesota reached a GDP of $349.5 billion in 2022, an increase of 1.2% from 2021.

Industries with the highest revenue in 2022 were medical supplies, wholesaling, and health and medical insurance. Minnesota has numerous employment opportunities. In 2022, Mayo Clinic employed about 35,000 people.

Being the home to healthcare facilities like the Mayo Clinic, Minneapolis Heart Institute, and University of Minnesota Health, Minnesota is one of the best states that you can choose to live in. If you are fond of sports, hockey is popular in Minnesota.


Utah is ranked as one of the best states to live in. The state has unique landscapes, beautiful weather, a strong economy, and much more. The quality of life in Utah is great and the state provides countless job opportunities.

Utah is home to one of the largest Saltwater lakes. This state also holds the SunDance Film Festival which boosts economic growth. Utah diversifies its income to many sectors including mining, agriculture, finance, tourism, and others. This state would be the best state to invest in.

Utah ranks 1st in economic growth. This state had a GDP of 185.2 billion in 2022 which was a 3.7% increase from 2021. In 2022, the unemployment rate in Utah was 2.2%. Utah also has great educational and healthcare institutions.

North Dakota

When it comes to quality of life, North Dakota remains unmatched. This beautiful state would be a wonderful place to call home. North Dakota is an agricultural state with about 90% of its land used in farming.

Other industries in North Dakota that fuel economic prosperity include oil and natural gas. This state also offers numerous employment opportunities and is among the states with the lowest unemployment rates.

North Dakota is one of the most affordable states to live in. The cost of living in North Dakota is around 2% lower than the national average. Utilities and housing are 5% and 6% lower than the national average respectively.

This state also enjoys low taxes, which makes life significantly better. North Dakota has an average local sale tax and state sale tax of 6.96%. North Dakota has a great educational system making it one of the best states for education. This state also has clean and uncongested cities with fresh air.

Picturesque farmhouse


If you are planning on relocating, Florida is one of the best states you should consider. This state is also the perfect choice if you are looking for a place with favorable weather conditions. Florida's climate is warm and humid. The state is also home to some of the most wonderful beaches in the country.

Tourism is one of the main industries that contribute to the economy in Florida. The beautiful beaches attract numerous tourists and hotel investments. The Agricultural sector in Florida also plays a major role in the state's economy. Florida produces about 2/3 of the country's oranges.

Florida has a low corporate income tax rate and no personal income tax. This makes it convenient for residents and corporations to save money in the long run. The low corporate taxes in Florida could be the reason more businesses are moving to Miami.

Florida has a good educational system and is home to some reputable educational institutions like Florida State University, the University of Miami, and the University of Florida.


Massachusetts is one of the top-ranking states to live in. This state ranks high in education, health, safety, economy, and quality of life. Massachusetts has some of the best educational institutions including Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Boston College, Smith and Wellesley, and others.

This state has a strong economy with the health and education sectors providing the most job opportunities. The technology sector also contributes greatly to economic prosperity in Massachusetts. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of Massachusetts was 546.3 billion which was a 2.3 increase from 2021.

In 2022, the sectors that contributed to the highest GDP in Massachusetts were scientific and technical services, manufacturing, and rental and leasing. Massachusetts has a state sales tax rate of 6.25% and no local sales tax.

You don't have to worry about low-quality healthcare since this state has the best healthcare insurance policies. The Massachusetts health care reform is a law that improved healthcare by providing health insurance to almost every resident of Massachusetts.

New Jersey

New Jersey is one of the best-ranking states that you can live in. This state is popular for its quality of life, great healthcare facilities, top-ranking education systems, and safety. New Jersey is home to the best educational facilities such as Princeton University. The state also has the highest graduation rates in the country.

This state had a high annual household income of $89,703 between 2017 and 2021. New Jersey had a per capita income of $46,691. About 10.2% of people were living in poverty in New Jersey between 2017 and 2021.

New Jersey has a good healthcare system with low premature death rates. The state also has a relatively low percentage of obese people. New Jersey has good public transportation that makes it easy to move from one place to the next.

This state is home to several IT companies like Verizon, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Tata Consultancy Services, and more. The main industries driving the economy in New Jersey include life sciences, transportation, logistics, and pharmaceuticals.


If you are looking for a place with low crime rates, consider moving to Vermont. This state is the safest in the country. Also known as Green Mountain State, Vermont has the most spectacular landscapes. Being a low-populated state, Vermont is one of the eco-friendliest states in the country.

Vermont is known for its maple syrup production, a major contributor to the economy. Other top industries in Vermont include healthcare, educational services, manufacturing and production, and others.

This state has a good educational system and is home to the University of Vermont. This institution employs about 5,380 people. Vermont is ranked as the 4th most educated state in the country. Vermont is also the 3rd most liberal state in the country.

Bottom Line

Before you settle down in a state, try to consider whether it ticks all your boxes. Think about the housing, employment rate, weather, and crime rate in that state and rate how important each one is for you and your family.