For fourteen years, Morgan Quitno Press has issued its Livable State Award. Based on 44 factors, the Most Livable State Award recognizes a state for its high quality of life. To determine a state's "Livability Rating," each state's rankings for 44 categories were averaged. Some of the factors are negative, and some are positive. All factors were given equal weight.
Examples of Negative Factors
Crime rate, unemployment rate, government debt, taxes, poverty rate, suicide rate, and electricity prices are some of the negative factors considered in the survey.
Examples of Positive Factors
Median household income, high school graduation rate, college degree attainment, marriage rate, and Gross State Product are examples of positive factors considered in the survey.
In this survey, Arizona came in at number 38. Not considered very livable, but an improvement of 7 positions over the ranking of 45 in 2003. Only two other states, New Jersey and Wyoming, increased by seven or more spots since 2003's survey. Here are some of the factors that contributed to the ranking of a 38.
Categories where Arizona ranked the worst--in the bottom 10% of all states:
- Percent change in number of crimes from 2001 to 2002
- Crime rate
- State Prisoner Incarceration Rate
- Pupil-Teacher Ratio in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools
- Public Libraries and Branches
- Teenage Birth Rate
- Highway Fatality Rate
- Books in Public Libraries Per Capita
- Home Ownership Rate
- Percent of Eligible Population Reported Voting
Categories Where Arizona ranked the best--in the top 10% of all states:
- Hazardous Waste Sites on the National Priority List per 10,000 Square Miles
- Deficient Bridges as a Percent of Total Bridges
- Job Growth, 2002 to 2003
- Normal Daily Mean Temperature
- Percent of Days That Are Sunny
- Domestic Migration of Population, 2002 to 2003
Best Ten Livable States 2004
1. New Hampshire
5. New Jersey
10. South Dakota
Worst Ten Livable States 2004
41. New Mexico
43. West Virginia
45. North Carolina
48. South Carolina