Massachusetts Named Best State to Live
BOSTON – The past few weeks I've found myself questioning why I choose to live in Boston. Somehow summer never seems to come, the traffic has been horrible recently, and it certainly isn't cheap.
So, it's with some surprise that I saw a new report stating that Massachusetts was the best state in the United States of America to live in. Maybe this is MA's way of trying to get me to stay here! Let's take a look at what apparently keeps us all in the Commonwealth.
The first thing that pops out at me is Massachusetts has the highest percent of population who have health insurance. I think, living here, we tend to take this for granted, but in many other states high costs of health insurance are a major source of stress in people's daily lives. We are lucky to have an efficient and functional system that allows most people here to be insured.
Secondly, we ranked 4th in lowest average weekly work hours, which comes as a bit of a surprise. As the home of some of the top universities and one of the most vibrant tech sectors in the nation, Boston has a reputation for working hard and playing hard. Sure, it's not NYC by any means, but maybe we're just lazy and we didn't realize it!
Okay, so we've got health insurance and we don't seem to have to work all that hard. What's fascinating is the next big reason we were voted top in the country is something most people living here are well aware of: our economy. Our economy is doing really well, and the study rated ours as the second strongest in the country. That ratings comes from a lot of factors: low unemployment, how many people live under the poverty line, wealth gap, job opportunities, etc. Suffice to say, we're doing okay.
The last metric I'd like to focus on: education. Now, we all have our complaints about schooling, but Massachusetts was rated as having the BEST public education in the United States of America, a ranking it's held for years. That's pretty impressive. Our math test scores? #1. Reading scores? #1. ACT scores? Tied for #1.
So, when facing yet another cold and rainy May morning, or seemingly endleess commute, just remember that you live in a state with great health insurance, a super strong economy, and the best free schools in the country. Not bad, not bad at all.