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10 Best States to Live in, Based on Cost, Safety and Quality of Life

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The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly had Americans on the move. First, people were ditching expensive cities like New York and San Francisco for the suburbs or more affordable metros like Austin, Phoenix and Nashville. Now, as vaccination rates rise, some people are moving back. Still, others are moving as they permanently adopt a work-from-home lifestyle, according to market researcher The NPD Group.

So where is the best place to live? WalletHub recently released a new report on the best states to live in.

To determine the list, the personal finance website compared 50 states across five key dimensions: affordability, economy, education and health, quality of life and safety. Fifty-two metrics were used, such as unemployment rate, life expectancy, average commute time and crime rates, and metrics were weighted differently. To calculate the overall score, each state's weighted average across all metrics was used.

Here are the top 10 best states to live in, according to WalletHub's report.

1. New Jersey

Total score: 63.01

Although New Jersey is not among the most affordable states (it ranked 49), it got top marks in safety (ranked No. 1), quality of life (7) and education and health (5).

2. Massachusetts

Total score: 62.60

Massachusetts ranked the highest in education and health (1), quality of life (5) and safety (5). It ranked low in affordability (45).

3. New York

Total score: 61.63

New York ranked the highest in quality of life (1) and safety (2), with a low ranking for affordability (47).

4. Idaho

Total score: 61.16

Idaho ranked high in safety (4) and for its economy (5), with a lower ranking in education and health (29).

5. Minnesota

Total score: 60.97

Minnesota ranked high in health and education (4) and affordability (9), with a lower ranking in safety (21).

6. Wisconsin

Total score: 60.94

Wisconsin ranked high in quality of life (8) and safety (9), with a lower ranking in affordability (32).

7. Utah

Total score: 59.84

Utah ranked high for its economy (2) and affordability (6), but ranked lower ranking in safety (32).

8. New Hampshire

Total score: 59.59

New Hampshire ranked high for its economy (4) and in education and health (6) but ranked low in affordability (40).

9. Iowa

Total score: 59.49

Iowa ranked high in education and health (11) and for its economy (13), but had a lower ranking in affordability (20).

10. Pennsylvania

Total score: 59.21

Pennsylvania ranked high in quality in life (2) and safety (7), with a low ranking for its economy (42).

Check out the ranking of all 50 states and other breakouts on WalletHub.

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