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Connecticut: Best State in the Country?

A new report says Connecticut ranks number one overall in how it provides for the general well being of its residents.

Credit: Measure of America
Credit: Measure of America
This article is written by Eileen McNamara: 

A report issued this week by the group Measure of America says Connecticut is the best state in the country in terms of its residents' overall well being.

Measure of America crunches national data each year to come up with a picture of the well being of all Americans. The group uses the Human Development Index, which measures individual's well-being, as opposed to studying broader issues, such as the state of the economy.

In the 2013-2014 report it issued this week, the group determined that Connecticut was the top state on the American Human Development Index, meaning folks here have a greater level of well being than anywhere else in the country. Connecticut edged out Massachusetts, New Jersey, the District of
Columbia and Maryland for that distinction.

The rankings are based on “an alternative to GDP,” according to this story on Slate.com, "that aims to summarize not just how rich Americans are, but how we’re doing on the things that we presumably want riches for: a long and healthy life in which everyone can make the most of their talents and interests. The American index is derived from the U.N.’s Human Development Index (on which, by the way, the U.S. currently ranks third in the world, after Norway and Australia)."

The report also found that

  • In no state do African Americans or Latinos have well‐being levels above those of whites or Asian Americans.
  • The bottom five states for the measure of well-being among its residents are Alabama, Kentucky, West Virginia, Arkansas and Mississippi. Residents of Mississippi, the report states, "have life spans and earnings of the typical American in the late 1980s."
  • The metropolitan areas that have the greatest well-being among its residents are Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Boston, Minneapolis–St. Paul and New York. At the bottom of the index in terms of its denizens' well being are Detroit, Houston, Tampa, San Antonio.
  • Riverside–San Bernardino, California, came in last in the study. In that region, the report found, one in five adults over age 25 did not graduate high school and personal earnings are about $2,000 less per year than the national median.

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