The Worst American States to Live In

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If you’re thinking of moving to a new state, you’ll likely conduct a lot of research beforehand. You’ll want to avoid moving to a state you know little about, only to find you dislike living there and have to search for a new place to live. Luckily, we have all the information you need to make an informed decision.

A recent study published by U.S. News and World Report gives a rundown of the states with the best and worst quality of life. Several factors are analyzed, such as air and water quality, environmental beauty, and social support to help you decide which states are best and which ones aren’t so great.

Here are the worst American states to live according to U.S. News and World Report and research from around the web.

10. Virginia

  • Quality of life rank: 41 (on a scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst.)

Virginia received a score of 39 for the quality of its natural environment and a score of 44 for the quality of its social environment. Furthermore, residents of Virginia have a high risk of stroke. Stroke was the fourth leading cause of death in 2015.

9. Louisiana

  • Quality of life rank: 42 (on a scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst.)

Louisiana received a score of 49 for the quality of its natural environment and a score of 31 for the quality of its social environment. Louisiana is also vulnerable to natural disasters. One of the state’s worst natural disasters was Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

8. Nevada

  • Quality of life rank: 43 (on a scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst.)

Nevada received a score of 30 for the quality of its natural environment and a score of 50 for the quality of its social environment. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among Nevada’s 10- to 34-year-old age group, according to CDC research. It is the eighth leading cause of death in Nevada overall.

7. Pennsylvania

  • Quality of life rank: 44 (on a scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst.)

Pennsylvania received a score of 45 for the quality of its natural environment and a score of 41 for the quality of its social environment. Pennsylvania is another state that is vulnerable to natural disasters. There have been roughly 57 billion-dollar natural disasters in the state. Hurricane Sandy proved to be the most expensive storm impacting Pennsylvania. Total damage was more than $70 billion and resulted in roughly 159 deaths, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.

6. West Virginia

  • Quality of life rank: 45(on a scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst.)

West Virginia received a score of 47 for the quality of its natural environment and a score of 40 for the quality of its social environment. Stroke was the fifth leading cause of death in West Virginia in 2015. Roughly 1,080 residents succumbed to the medical condition due to complications.

5. Texas

  • Quality of life rank: 46 (on a scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst.)

Texas received a score of 38 for the quality of its natural environment and a score of 46 for the quality of its social environment. Texas ranked No. 1 on our list of worst states for natural disasters. There have been 94 billion-dollar storms since 1980. Hurricane Harvey is estimated to be the most expensive natural disaster that has impacted Texas. As of September 2017, estimates are around $108 billion.

4. Illinois

  • Quality of life rank: 47 (on a scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst.)

Illinois received a score of 50 for the quality of its natural environment and a score of 35 for the quality of its social environment. If you’re looking for a state with clean, fresh air, this is not the state for you. Illinois is quite polluted. In the State of the Air report, three Illinois counties received an ‘F’ grade when it came to air quality.

3. Indiana

  • Quality of life rank: 48 (on a scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst.)

Indiana received a score of 46 for the quality of its natural environment and a score of 43 for the quality of its social environment. This state is also a big offender when it comes to pollution. Coal-powered power plants in the state produce more than 40 million pounds of toxic pollution, according to the National Resources Defense Council.

2. New Jersey

  • Quality of life rank: 49 (on a scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst.)

New Jersey received a score of 32 for the quality of its natural environment and a score of 49 for the quality of its social environment. New Jersey has one of the highest cancer rates in America. The state ranks 37 in terms of deaths per 100,000 people.

1. California

  • Quality of life rank: 50 (on a scale of 1 to 50; 50 is worst.)

California received a score of 44 for the quality of its natural environment and a score of 47 for the quality of its social environment. Roughly 1,628 people have been murdered by a serial killer in California since 1900. This is up from a total of 1,513 in 2015. One famous California serial killer is Joseph James DeAngelo, also known as the Golden State Killer.

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