U.S. News & World Report just released a ranking of all the states in America, evaluating each one based on "thousands of data points" tracking health care, education, crime, infrastructure, opportunity, economy, and government. And apparently, New York is only the 17th best state in the country, falling behind a bunch of states that definitely do NOT have good bagels (but do have cheaper housing).
According to this list, as one of the safer states in the country, New York ranks #5 for crime and corrections, with comparatively lower incarceration rates and property crime rates. We also rank fairly high in health care and education, clocking in at #13 and #19, respectively.
Unfortunately, we're also one of the worst states in the country when it comes to economic opportunity—U.S. News & World Report puts us all the way down at #44 in that category, thanks to vast income inequality and a serious racial gap in education, employment, and income equality. We're also only the 48th most affordable state in the country, which shouldn't surprise anyone, though it appears defecting to California (#49) or Hawaii (#50) won't fix that. But don't worry, we're still number one at something!
These criticisms against the Empire State are fair, but there is a major problem with this list. U.S. News & World Report has ranked Massachusetts, home to the Boston Red Sox, the New England Patriots, bars that close at midnight, and Mark Wahlberg, as the #1 state in the country. Apparently Massachusetts has exemplary healthcare and public schools, a strong economy, and Elizabeth Warren, but it still has all the things I mentioned previously, and thus should be disqualified.
And doesn't the fact that New York State is home to the greatest city in America (plus Buffalo) count for something? What other city stocks its subways with bottles of wine for commuters to share on the way home every night?
U.S. News & World Report also ranked New Hampshire second on this list. I went to camp in New Hampshire and I can say, solely based on that experience, that New Hampshire sucks. New Hampshire might not have income tax, but it does have my old camp, and those two things cancel each other out. Meanwhile, Gothamist staffer Scott Heins is originally from Minnesota, which ranks third on this list, and he does not deserve the satisfaction of hailing from a state that is "better" than mine.
Plus, the state that ranks lowest on the list is Louisiana. You can drink a beer on the street in New Orleans, so I'm calling shenanigans on this whole thing.