News and Commentary

California Dead Last Among U.S. States In ‘Quality Of Life,’ Study Finds

California ranks 50th (out of 50, not 57 as former President Barack Obama once said) among U.S. states in quality of life, according to a new study by U.S. News & World Report.

That’s right, California ranks lower than New Jersey (49th) and Alaska (which actually comes in at a respectable 19th).

“The ignominious honor reflects California’s low marks in the sub-categories of environmental quality and social engagement. The latter category measures voting participation and community bonds,” U.S. News wrote.

“Californians scored poorly in part because they’re simply insufferable, U.S. News suggested.” Boy, that’s an understatement.

“In addition to a healthy environment, a person’s quality of life is largely a result of their interactions with those around them,” the magazine wrote in a blurb accompanying the results.

One way to measure quality life is whether residents can even afford to have a roof over their heads, and by that standard, California is failing.

A 2017 Harvard University report said that one-third of renters in the Los Angeles area are “severely rent burdened,” meaning they spend at least half their income on housing. The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Los Angeles County has increased 67%, according to Zillow’s Rent Index, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Homelessness has surged a stunning 75 percent in the last six years, the Los Angeles Times reports, and there are now at least 55,000 homeless people in the county.

U.S. News ranked every U.S. state in seven categories: health care, education, economy, opportunity, infrastructure, crime and corrections, and fiscal stability. California comes in 46th in “opportunity” and 43rd in “fiscal stability.”

“North Dakota and Minnesota are the most effective at promoting their citizens’ well-being by providing both a healthy environment and a sense of social connectedness. Other top states include Wisconsin, New Hampshire, South Dakota and Mississippi,” the report said.

Iowa placed No. 1 in “quality of life.”

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