Recently I wrote about the survey findings from Boston Consulting Group, that showed Massachusetts taking the top spot in their “well being” study. They cited a healthy population that has near universal healthcare insurance, education and an incredibly robust and balanced economy as reasons for the top ranking.
Just two weeks later U.S. News and World Report awarded Massachusetts its top honor, citing the state’s continuing academic achievement, innovative health care system, and strong economy in its ‘Best States’ ranking – sound familiar?The US News & World report evaluates all fifty states across seven categories: health care, education, opportunity, economy, infrastructure, crime and corrections, and government. Massachusetts ranked No. 1 in education and No. 2 in healthcare, and placed within the top ten for economy and crime and corrections. There are many surveys that evaluate quality of life and economic opportunity. When you start seeing different surveys finding the same thing over and over again it becomes a trend.
Where did your state rank? Check out the listing of all fifty states here.
GDP alone does not offer a complete picture of a country’s performance. The well-being of citizens is an important measure too. With that in mind, the professional services firm, BCG, ranked each of the 50 states, and the New England region out performed the rest of the country. Three of the top five states come from New England with Massachusetts achieving the best overall rating followed by New Hampshire (second best) and Vermont (fourth best).
Massachusetts, the number one state overall, was ranked 1st in investments, 11th in economics, and 19th in sustainability, but the state does have challenges. The report cited: an aging population, high cost of living and a school achievement gap between white and black students as areas to focus on for improvement.
In addition to the state’s investments, Massachusetts received high marks for:
Health: The state has the best access to primary care; lowest infant mortality rate in the nation; the third lowest obesity rate; and fifth highest life-expectancy.
Education: MA ranked high in education, pre-school enrollment and has the highest proportion of people with college degrees in the country.
Economics: MA ranked 11th overall, with the third-highest GDP per capita; third-lowest poverty rate among the most populous states; and low unemployment, which currently stands at 2.8% (nationally the rate is 4.8%).
You can read more about this from the article in The Boston Globe here.
The Bloomberg US Innovation Index ranked Massachusetts (again) as the most innovative state in the nation. With California (again) coming in second.
Bloomberg scores each state on a 0-100 scale across six equally weighted metrics: R&D intensity; productivity; high-tech density; concentration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) employment; science and engineering degree holders; and patent activity. Massachusetts has enjoyed a faster recovery from the last recession than most states and now boasts 2.9% unemployment rate, leaving it tied for second-best in the country – as compared to the 4.6% national average.
While most may look to or think of Silicon Valley when it comes to innovation because of companies like Apple and Google, Bloomberg index is measured by the number of companies rather than market capital, rewarding Massachusetts for its breadth over California’s tech giants. This point impresses me even more because when you compare the relative size of both states.
General Electric Co.’s announcement earlier this year that it would move its headquarters to Boston amid rancor over tax increases in Connecticut helps to illustrate how Massachusetts widened its lead.
For more information you can read the full article in The Boston Globe here.
This past November Massachusetts residents voted to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Earlier this month Denver-based medical marijuana facility developer AmeriCann announced plans to build America’s largest medical marijuana facility in the country in Freetown, Massachusetts, which when completed will be an astonishing 1 million square feet.
The CEO of AmeriCann, Tim Keogh said he wants to make the Massachusetts Medical Cannibis Center “the place in the northeast U.S. for the creation of a wide variety of exciting new advanced products for medical cannabis patients.”
Image from Campanelli Construction
Despite the ongoing protestations of our Governor, Boston’s Mayor and our State A.G., economic opportunity appears to be the result of the decriminalization and legalization of marijuana. It would be great if marijuana medical research could be done here. I would think it would benefit from the world class medical research community that already calls Massachusetts home.
I’m sure Freetown and the surrounding communities will also benefit tremendously from the construction jobs this will create, the full time jobs the center will employ and the tax revenue it will generate for the town and state. You can read the full article in the Boston Business Journal here.
With New Year’s Eve just around the corner many people may be contemplating how they can make healthier decisions in 2017. According to a new, comprehensive national health analysis, many Massachusetts residents are already living a pretty healthy lifestyle and much healthier than many of their fellow Americans from other states.
According to the annual America’s Health Rankings report, now in its 27th year, New England is a pretty great place to be. Massachusetts was ranked the second healthiest state in the country, followed by Connecticut at number three and Vermont at number five. Hawaii took first for the fifth year running, and Minnesota rounded out the top five.
- Low prevalence of obesity
- Low percentage of population without insurance
- Higher number of primary care physicians
- High prevalence of excessive drinking
- High incidence of Salmonella
- Large disparity in health status by educational attainment
You can read more about the overall health of Massachusetts residents based on the study by linking here. If you live in another state or are curious to see how other states ranked link here.
Effective today, recreational marijuana is legal in Massachusetts — but it is not readily available. The law allows adults to have limited quantities of marijuana for recreational purposes and grow pot plants in their homes, but for the moment it’s still illegal to sell marijuana in Massachusetts — except to registered medical marijuana patients.
The State has one year to figure out how to license and regulate the sale of marijuana so until January 2017 it looks like Massachusetts could become one of the leaders in homegrown marijuana.
For more information, check out WBUR’s The Legal Do’s and Don’ts to Know.
Massachusetts is never going to win congeniality or weather accolades. If these are what matter most then ignore this survey’s findings since neither were evaluated by 24/7 in a report they published last week that looked at the poverty rates, education and life expectancy to determine the quality of life in each state.
Here is a quick recap on why the Bay State a.k.a. Massachusetts took the top spot, according to the 24/7 Wall St. report:
- More than 2 out of 5 adults have at least a bachelor’s degree: The highest ratio of any state. Theoretically, the high level of education helps lower the poverty rate.
- The poverty rate is 11.5%, which is lower than the U.S. average.
- Massachusetts residents’ life expectancy at birth is 80.2 year old, the fifth highest in the nation, signifying a healthy state.
The top five best states to live in according to the list are Massachusetts, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Minnesota and New Jersey. The lowest ranked states were Mississippi, West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Alabama and Kentucky. Find this interesting? Click here to read the full report.