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Louisiana and Arkansas Among ‘Worst’ States in America

Downtown Shreveport
Amanda Currier/TSM Shreveport

With the State of the Union address around the corner, how strong is the union? More specifically, how strong are the states within the union?

Politico took a look at that, while also adding a reflection of an “analysis” done back in 1931 with a modern take on it.

The political website and magazine took 14 census statistics, compiled the figures, took the average rankings, and then made it into a list of best-to-worst states in America.

Among the Ark-La-Tex, Louisiana was the worst. In the national rankings, Louisiana was the second worst (50 out of 51), ahead of only Mississippi. Arkansas didn’t fare much better, sitting just ahead of Louisiana in 49th place. Texas performed notably better than its neighboring states, ranking no. 36.

Before we look at the rankings, Politico notes in their story that this is not a perfectly scientific way to assess which states are better than another. That determination is purely subjective based on what you desire in a state.

Here’s the statistical breakdown as compiled by Politico:

Wealthiest per capita

1. District of Columbia $45,004
31. Texas $25,809
41. Louisiana $24,264
50. Arkansas $22,007
51. Mississippi $20,670

Lowest Unemployment

1. North Dakota 2.6%
t-15. Texas 6.1%
20. Louisiana 6.3%
38. Arkansas 7.5%
t-50. Nevada 9%
t-50. Rhode Island 9%

Lowest Poverty Rate

1. New Hampshire 8.4%
t-41. Texas 17.6%
t-48. Arkansas 18.7%
t-48. Louisiana 18.7%
51. Mississippi 22.3%

Highest Home Ownership

1. West Virginia 73.7%
33. Louisiana 67.4%
34. Arkansas 67.2%
42. Texas 63.9%
51. Massachusetts 41.6%

Highest % of High School Graduates

1. Wyoming 92.1%
45. Arkansas 83.3%
48. Louisiana 82.2%
51. Texas 80.8%

Longest Life Expectancy

1. Hawaii 81.3%
28. Texas 78.5%
t-45. Arkansas 76%
48. Louisiana 75.7%
51. Mississippi 75%

Lowest Infant Mortality Rate

t-1. Massachusetts 4.9
t-1. Utah 4.9
18. Texas 6.2
t-40. Arkansas 7.9
48. Louisiana 9.4
51. District of Columbia 12.0

Lowest Obesity Rate

1. Colorado 18.7
t-39. Texas 28.9
47. Louisiana 30.9
48. Arkansas 31.4
50. West Virginia 33.5

Highest Reported Wellbeing

1. Hawaii 71.1
t-26. Texas 66.6
43. Louisiana 64.4
46. Arkansas 64.1
50. West Virginia 61.3

Highest Math Score

1. Massachusetts 299
t-15. Texas 287
t-40. Arkansas 276
45. Louisiana 272
51. District of Columbia 254

Highest Reading Score

t-1. Massachusetts 273
t-1. Vermont 273
31. Texas 261
t-39. Arkansas 258
44. Louisiana 253
51. District of Columbia 241

Least Income Inequality

1. Wyoming .4166
28. Arkansas .4632
42. Texas .4767
47. Louisiana .4859
51. District of Columbia .5343

Lowest Crime Rate

1. Maine 122.7
33. Texas 408.6
40. Arkansas 469.1
44. Louisiana 496.9
51. District of Columbia 1,243.7

Highest percentage of STEM jobs

1. District of Columbia 9.7
t-20. Texas 5.1
46. Louisiana 3.5
49. Arkansas 3.1
51. Mississippi 2.7

And here are the top ten best and worst states, according to Politico:


1. New Hampshire
2. Minnesota
3. Vermont
4. Utah
5. Massachusetts
6. Wyoming
7. Colorado
8. Iowa
9. Washington
10. Connecticut


42. Oklahoma
43. Georgia
44. West Virginia
45. Kentucky
46. South Carolina
47. Alabama
48. Tennessee
49. Arkansas
50. Louisiana
51. Mississippi


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