Iowa ranked #1 state in the country

Published: Feb. 27, 2018 at 8:58 AM CST
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U.S. News & World Report has ranked Iowa the #1 state in the country based on eight categories - health care, education, economy, opportunity, infrastructure, crime and corrections, fiscal stability and quality of life.

In all, 77 metrics were measured across the eight categories and each of the categories was assigned weightings based upon two years of data from an annual national survey.

Iowa ranked #3 in healthcare, #5 in education, #17 in economy, #4 in opportunity, #1 in infrastructure, #15 in crime and corrections, #21 in fiscal stability and #9 in quality of life.

In health care, Iowa jumped two spots from 2017. Iowa was ranked #5 in health care access, #9 in health care quality and #11 in public health. According to the survey, Iowa has the second lowest number of adults going without care due to cost at 7.7%. Iowa has some work to do in obesity rate according to the survey. The survey shows 32% of adults in Iowa are obese. Iowa ranks #37 in low obesity rate in this year's survey.

In the category of education, Iowa moved from #8 in 2017 to #5 this year. The survey shows 90.8% of freshmen graduate from public high school within four years in Iowa. That is #1 nationwide. The survey does show Iowa needs to improve in the area of college readiness. The survey shows less than 40% of students in Iowa meet ACT or SAT benchmarks.

Iowa moved from #30 in economy in 2017 to #13 in this year's survey. According to the survey, Iowa's GDP is growing at the sixth fastest rate in the country at just over 3%. The survey does show the business environment in Iowa is ranked at #46 nationwide.

Iowa moved two spots in opportunity, jumping from #6 to #4. While the survey says Iowa is #2 in housing affordability, we only rank 36th in equlaity.

This year's survey saw Iowa make a leap from #16 in infrastructure to #1. The survey shows Iowa is first in the nation for ultra-fast internet access, but 49th in bridge quality.

In the category of crime and corrections, Iowa ranks 15th in this year's survey. While the survey puts Iowa 14th in low incarceration rate, Iowa ranks 39th in equality in jailing.

In the fiscal stability category, Iowa ranks 21st in the nation. While Iowa ranks first in government credit rating score, Iowa is 32nd in budget balancing.

Finally, in quality of life, Iowa is ranked 9th in the nation. The survey ranks Iowa 8th in the nation in voter participation, but only 38th in low pollution health risk.

To see the full report, visit