Most Americans do not choose where they grow up and often end up living in the same place as adults, either for financial reasons or because of social and familial connections. Still, many Americans choose to pack up and move to a new state — usually in search of better life.
People who contemplate such a move would certainly consider a state’s overall quality of life. While every person is different and may weigh certain factors more than others, quality of life generally consists of a multitude of factors, including an area’s economy, jobs market, income levels, poverty, crime, education levels, health care, transportation, and whether the area is generally desirable.
Based on these factors and others, 24/7 Wall St. ranked all 50 states for overall quality of life.
• 10-yr. population change: +7.1% (22nd smallest increase)
• Annual unemployment: 4.3% (19th lowest)
• Poverty rate: 9.7% (3rd lowest)
• Life expectancy at birth: 79.3 years (22nd longest)
The typical Maryland household earns $78,945 a year, the highest median income of any state and about $21,300 more than the typical American household income. The higher incomes translate to a relative lack of serious financial hardship in the state — Maryland is one of only six states in which fewer than 1 in 10 residents live in poverty. The higher incomes also mean more Maryland residents can afford healthy diets and lifestyles, and the state’s life expectancy of 79.3 years at birth is nearly half a year longer than life expectancy across the country as a whole.
Maryland’s favorable socioeconomic outcomes are underpinned by a well-educated population. Some 39.3% of adults in the state have at least a bachelor’s degree, a larger share than in all but two other states.
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