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Planning on moving, but not sure which is the best US state to live in?
It’s quite natural that you’d want to consider living in a state that offers the best in terms of safety and standard of living. After all, you wouldn’t want to spend the rest of your life in a place you don’t love, right?
This is why it’s crucial to analyze the pros and cons of each state before you make a decision. But that’s where the problem arises. The US consists of 50 states, ranging from Virginia to Louisiana, which, in turn, makes it difficult to choose the best out of the lot.
Understanding your plight, we’ve shortlisted the 10 best states to live in the US, providing relevant information regarding each of them. Furthermore, we’ve provided a comprehensive guide, explaining a few crucial factors that need to be considered before you plan on settling down.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
Top 10 States To Live In The US
- Top 10 States To Live In The US
- Guide To Shortlisting The Best US States
In this section, we’ll be taking you through an in-depth analysis of the top 10 US states in 2021. Each of these regions is characterized by a higher incidence of wealth, education, and employment, which adds to the overall economy of the country. So, let’s begin.
The southeastern US state, Virginia, stretching from the Chesapeake Bay to the Appalachian Mountains, with a long Atlantic coastline, is known for its natural beauty. With half of its land covered in forests, it’s the perfect place to settle down away from the daily hustle and bustle of city life.
This is one of the reasons why it’s rated among the top places to retire in the US. Plus, its cost of living is below the national average, making it an affordable place to live in. There’s no need to worry about crimes and violence since it’s among the safest states in America that offer good housing for the members of its society.
Just a short drive away from the nation’s capital, the District of Columbia, Virginia, is the state that allows you to be closer to family and friends. You can reach some of the most beautiful mountains and beaches within just a few hours.
What’s more, Virginia has three of the top 40 public colleges and universities in the US, namely the University of Virginia, College of William and Mary, and Virginia Tech. So, your kids don’t have to move far away from home for higher education unless they want to.
Massachusetts, known for its beautiful bays, rivers, coastal plains, and rolling hills, is another excellent choice if you’re planning to settle down in the US. It’s no doubt a small state, covering 10,565 sq. miles, but it has the highest population density in the country, at 840 residents per sq. mile.
Somerville, Chelsea, Brighton, Allston, and Boston are the cities within the state with the highest densities. Furthermore, it’s a great place to live in if you have a median household income as the average family does quite well living in this part of the country.
This can be verified seeing its wide range of expensive homes, which, in turn, shows the demand for housing in the Northeastern state. Home values are consistently increasing and are expected to rise further, a good sign indeed.
Coming to the criminal activity of the place, we wouldn’t rate it among the topmost states in terms of safety. That’s because cities like North Adams, Holyoke, and Springfield have Massachusetts’ highest number of robberies and burglaries, a fact which can’t be overlooked.
Nonetheless, it makes up for this with its low unemployment rate that’s said to be the twelfth-lowest in the entire country. The state is also home to several top-notch educational institutes of America, the most notable university being the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
We find it imperative to mention Massachusetts’ contribution to the tourism industry. There are several fun things to do and places to explore from Boston to Berkshire as you begin your journey to discover the state of wonder.
Next up, we have New Hampshire, a US state in the New England region of the country that sits next to some of the other top states on this list, including Massachusetts and Vermont. It’s in close proximity to Quebec, Canada, and today almost a quarter of its population is known for its French-Canadian ancestry.
What’s more interesting is that New Hampshire is the fifth-smallest state by area with one of the the least population densities of 147 sq.miles. In other words, it provides its residents with ample space for themselves.
The economy of the state is run by several financial and medical institutions, so rest assured of rising property markets. And with the majority of its population working in private sectors, the trend is expected to continue.
You need not worry about your children’s education. New Hampshire is a highly educated state that’s home to several reputed institutes and universities, like Dartmouth College and Franklin Pierce Institute. As a result, the unemployment rate continues to be low while its residents pursue higher education closer to home.
In comparison to the other states on the list, it is safer in terms of crimes and violence. There have been no murders or significant violent acts committed since last year, so that’s definitely a win-win.
You’ll also be pleased to know that New Hampshire is among the top 10 eco-friendly states in the US. It has a very low number of hazardous waste and water violations, which, in turn, makes it a great place to settle. However, we weren’t quite impressed with its overall drinking water quality that comes with scope for improvement.
New Jersey is located in the mid-Atlantic region of northeastern US in close proximity to New York in the north and Philadelphia in the south. The state’s known for its beautiful beaches, delicious delicacies, intense politics, busy roads, and diverse cultures.
In fact, it’s also home to several water bodies, including the Delaware Water Gap, the Jersey Shore, and the Hudson Palisades. Despite being small, the landlocked state, measuring 170 miles in length and 70 miles in width, is said to have the highest population density in the US.
That said, the average earnings of the state are the third-highest in the country. In other words, its population comprises the highest number of millionaires in the US. But even then, you’ll be drawn to its rural and suburban neighborhoods that offer easy accessibility to its metropolitan areas.
We’d definitely recommend investing in property markets in New Jersey as home prices are expected to rise over the years. You need not worry about getting laid off as the unemployment rate of the state is pretty good, with the majority of the population employed in schools, food service, construction, and hospitals.
That’s not all; New Jersey doesn’t fall behind in terms of education. And interestingly, it’s the state with the highest population of adults with a bachelor’s degree and other advanced degrees like masters and PhDs.
However, the only downside to living in this state is its higher incidence of non-negligent criminal activities recorded in the New Jersey cities, including Camden in the south and Elizabeth in the north.
Without a doubt, Utah is an excellent tourist spot known for its natural landscapes and five national parks. It shares its border with Arizona, Wyoming, and touches a corner of New Mexico in the southeast.
Utah is not among the most populated US states, with very few people living in the southwestern corner of the region. Instead, the majority of its population lives in and around the state’s capital, Salt Lake City, which is known for hosting the Winter Olympics Games in 2002.
Despite the low population density, the state’s median household earnings are above the national average. As a result, it is more affordable than its neighboring states but offers a similar climate and a magnificent view of the mountains.
There’s ample scope for employment in the fields of analytics, web development, and marketing. In fact, the job scenario is expected to flourish even further in the coming years, reducing the overall unemployment rate of the country.
We’d definitely recommend living in Utah as it’s one of the safest states in the US with reduced crime rates compared to the other 50 states of the country. It may have a higher incidence of property crime rates, but most of its cities are free of violence and other major criminal activities.
Furthermore, you can plan a secure future for your kids, gearing them for success in the long-run as the state has ample scope for education. The people living in the close-knit community of Utah are not only educated, but they’re also concerned about their overall health and well-being.
Consequently, your child grows up in a positive society that reflects his or her behavior and overall character. The state also has the best environmental outcomes in the country, all thanks to the surrounding lakes and fresh mountains. What’s more, there have been no reports or violations of air quality and pesticide use, which is definitely a plus point.
It’s time we introduced you to the “Constitution State” of the US, named after the Great Compromise of 1787. Yes, we’re talking about Connecticut, the state located in southern New England, sharing its borders with Massachusetts and Rhode Island.
Connecticut’s population density is not too high, with most residents living in the southwest or center of the state in its cities, including New Haven, Hartford, and Bridgeport. But even then, it’s per capita income is the highest in the nation. This is why most families living in Connecticut are undoubtedly wealthy with jobs in the finance and insurance industries.
So, we’d suggest shifting to this part of the country only if you can afford its cost of living as its median rent itself is quite expensive. Once settled, you’ll easily find suitable jobs in retail positions, legal secretary roles, and nursing.
In fact, the state tops the list when it comes to health and wellness as people are more concerned about undergoing clinical care and maintaining healthy habits. The incidence of critical illness is significantly lesser, but in no way does Connecticut fall behind in its healthcare facilities.
You’ll be pleased to know that it’s one of the least dangerous states in the US in terms of annual crimes. It’s also had the lowest number of violent crimes and burglaries compared to some of the other states mentioned on this list.
However, the government needs to invest more money in repairing the state’s roads and highways. The conditions aren’t terrible, but there’s undeniably still a lot of work that needs to be done in order to make its infrastructure more stable.
As we all know, Hawaii is everyone’s dream holiday destination, but is it the best place to live in? Seeing that it has paved its way to its well deserving spot on our list, the answer to the question is pretty obvious.
Known as the Aloha State and the Paradise of the Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is a site you’re bound to cherish. It boasts of beautiful beaches, stunning flora and fauna, and of course, its laid-back culture that stands out on its own.
Being the only US state located outside North America, Hawaii is the only island state that has its privacy from the rest of the country. Thus, people can enjoy living a secluded life away from the commotion of city life.
What’s more, its population density is on the lower end of the country, with most people living on Oahu – one of the seven major islands of the state, other than Maui, Kauai, Hawaii, Molokai, and Niihau.
That said, the cost of living in Hawaii is comparatively higher as its residents are subjected to the “Sunshine tax,” which, in turn, increases overall expenses. Therefore, you’ll have to be making a decent wage to make ends meet if you plan on settling down in this state with a family.
On the bright side, Hawaii is known for its low unemployment rate, all thanks to its tourism industry, which creates plenty of jobs for the economy. With hospitality, food, and drink sectors on a consistent boom, less than 3% of the residents of this state are unemployed, and that’s a pretty good statistic indeed.
Moving on to the criminal activities of the state, Hawaii definitely needs to up its game in terms of safety. The annual percentage of murders in the area is relatively low, but property crime somehow always makes it to the news. However, you can consider living in Kailua, and East Honolulu as these cities in Hawaii have the lowest crime rates.
We now come to a western state in the US, known for its fresh mountain air, forest and greenery, river canyons, and diverse landscape of arid deserts. Colorado is a landlocked region bordered by Kansas, Oklahoma, Utah, New Mexico, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Arizona.
It offers some of the best views in the world, including that of the snow-covered Rocky Mountains, the Great Plains, the Colorado Plateau, and the Colorado River. This is why the state is a favorite among outdoor enthusiasts and travelers with an undeniable love for nature and adventure.
So, if you’re keen on living in and around the Rocky Mountains, Colorado is where you should settle. The total population of the state is mostly scattered among the metropolitan cities, with the majority of its residents living in the northern areas of the region, including Boulder, Colorado Springs, and its capital Denver (the most populated city in the state).
You may choose to invest in housing in either of its cities, expecting higher returns in the long-run as the average household value in Colorado is always on a consistent rise. And the trend is expected to continue seeing the average take-home income of the state.
Home to large companies like Samsonite, Coors, and Russel Stover, Colorado is a great place to begin your career as a businessman. That’s not all; it ties with New Hampshire and Virginia in terms of the unemployment rate with the number of unemployed people decreasing every year.
Although Colorado is not the most dangerous state of the US, it’s unfortunately far from safe. Violent crimes and criminal activities have been recorded over the years, which can’t be ignored seeing their overall impact on society.
For instance, the Columbia High School and Aurora movie theatre massacres were the two highly publicized mass shootings in the state that created quite a stir in the country.
Vermont is apparently the sixth smallest state of the US, with a population lower than the other states on the list. But with people living in the northwestern part of the state, Burlington comes forth as the most populous city of Vermont.
Thanks to its low population density, the state is said to have the lowest unemployment rate in the entire US, at 2.2%. You’ll easily find suitable jobs in the sales sector as a sales representative or cashier. There’s even scope to practice nursing to maintain your basic standard of living.
The state is not just the perfect place to invest in housing, but you can also earn a living by working in the real estate industry, which is presently flourishing. And as this trend continues thriving, the average home value of the area will be on a high. The only downside to this is that the prices of properties in Vermont are quite steep, which, in turn, are not affordable by many.
We’ll still recommend you shift to the state with your family as its crime rate is way below the national average. There have been no reports of murders, and the number of violent crimes committed is among the lowest in the country, making it the safest states to live in.
With the lower incidence of violence and criminal activities, the education rate of the region is bound to be commendable. The state has some of the best high schools and universities in the country, so it’s quite apparent you’ll find yourself mixing with highly educated and intellectual individuals.
Despite being a state on the other side of the country, Vermont is among the best in terms of infrastructure. A majority of its bridges and roads are all structurally well built, reducing the commuting time to and fro places.
Our list wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the second northernmost state of the US, located near the Great Lakes of North America, behind Alaska. Bordered by Lake Superior, North Dakota, Lowa, South Dakota, Wisconsin, along with Manitoba and Ontario in Canada, Minnesota has a typical continental climate.
The winters here are too cold while the summers remain hot, but even then, people like living in the state because of its sheer beauty. Since the 1850s, more people have moved to the state, with a million or more residents in each century.
Today, it’s home to some of the most renowned companies, including General Mills, 3M, Land O’ Lakes, UnitedHealth Group, Hormel, and Target. And the best part is that despite its long history of mining and working with raw materials, the economy of the state is driven by product and service manufacturing, which, in turn, should be generating more jobs.
However, even then, people in the state are without job security as much of the economy relies on higher-level jobs like executives and technology workers.
Coming to the education rate, the figures are quite impressive, with over a quarter of its residents having a bachelor’s degree, among the highest in the country. At the same time, the others have advanced degrees like diplomas and PhDs.
Despite having an educated population, Minnesota has some of the most dangerous cities in the country, including Bemidji, West Saint Paul, Brainerd, and Minneapolis. There have been several violent crimes, thefts, and burglaries in 2021, but the murder rate continues to be significantly low, which is better than some of the other states on this list.
Guide To Shortlisting The Best US States
The US has a total of 50 states, each known for its unique traits and features. But choosing the best state to live in from this vast list is not that simple. A lot of thought has to be put in before you plan on settling down in a specific region of the nation, which, in turn, is a time-consuming task, to say the least.
We’ve narrowed down the options for you to choose from, but even then, finding the perfect place to live in the US is quite daunting. This is why we’ve carefully created this guide, explaining a few crucial points and terms that need to be considered during your decision-making. Read on to know more…
Population density refers to the percentage of people living in a given area. That said, if you want to move to a wider and more open space, this statistic needs to be given prime importance. Nonetheless, states having the highest population densities in the country are deemed fit to live in.
What do we mean by the median income of the state? Well, it’s the average household earnings of the area, which, in turn, determines the affluence of the state. The states with higher median incomes are considered to be more well off than the rest. It also allows you to know what to expect in terms of housing and education.
Don’t forget to closely monitor the crime rates of the state to make sure it’s safe for your family to live in. The metrics should include the data obtained from the government agencies and the FBI.
This will help you analyze the number of violent criminal activities, burglaries, and thefts prevalent in the area. If the number is lower, you may consider living in the state.
Many states of the US are reigning in their housing or property markets. Always remember that an area with a prominent average home value is more likely to have better access to education, lesser crime, and more working opportunities. This is the region you’d want to live in.
Know the unemployment rate of the state from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to know if the place is worth living in. A higher unemployment rate means you’re more likely to be without a job and vice versa. Choose a state with a lower incidence of unemployment if you wish to maintain your standard of living.
The state you’d consider living in should be home to some of the most notable universities and educational institutes so that your kids can opt for higher education near home. Settling down in an area with a higher education rate reduces the chances of being unemployed.
Our list of the top 10 states in the US comprises some of the wealthiest states with a significantly low poverty rate. This indicates better housing, education, and health outcomes.
The overall welfare of the state is determined by the physical and mental health of its population, which varies across states. Consider all the factors related to medicine and health, including behaviors, clinical care, community and environmental points, policy points, and health outcomes before making a decision.
Finding the best US state to live in is not a decision you can make overnight. It can drastically change the way you lead your life, so we’d suggest investing sufficient time in analyzing the crucial factors that would accurately reflect your health and wealth.
We’ve explained each point in this guide to help you shortlist the US state you’d want to consider living in. That said, it’s important to note that despite its pros, each state has its own weak points, which can’t always be overlooked.
So, make sure that you weigh the positives and negatives to get a more accurate idea about the state’s cost and standard of living.
On that note, we now come to the end of this comprehensive guide. Till next time!