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We're #1: US News & World Report Ranks Massachusetts Best State

BOSTON (CBS) -- In a glowing report citing education, health care, and the economy, US News & World Report ranked Massachusetts the best state in the nation in a study released Tuesday.

"Its vibrant academic environment, innovative and supportive health care policies and modernizing economy, measure for measure, make this small New England powerhouse with a population of 6.8 million the strongest state of all," the study reads.

Gov. Charlie Baker couldn't agree more. He joined US News & World Report editor-in-chief Brian Kelly on CBS This Morning Tuesday to react to the honor of being ranked first in the country.

"I think part of it is we have a lot of smart people, we have a lot of great schools," Baker said. "That has led to a whole series of terrific, what I would call ecosystems around technology and healthcare and finance and education. You put it all together, in this day and age, in this kind of global economy and global world we live in, and it's a terrific mix."

Mass. tops U.S. News & World Report's best states ranking by CBS Mornings on YouTube

The site wrote that health care and education were weighted most heavily--two things that helped Massachusetts reach the top, as they ranked the state first in education and second in health care.

They cited the "Massachusetts Education Miracle" stemming from the Education Reform Act of 1993 and the fact that nearly half of Massachusetts residents have a college degree, as well as the fact that a higher share of Massachusetts residents have health insurance than in any other state.

Baker credited many Massachusetts successes to the state's political tradition of working together across party lines.

"We also do have a bipartisan approach to working together," Baker said. "People are okay with the ideas of compromise and collaboration. If you look at the success we've had policy-wise in the education, health care, and economy spaces, energy and a whole bunch of others, they've all been done on a bipartisan basis."

In addition, the study cited the Bay State's low unemployment and fast rate of new business growth, and ranked it first in Broadband access.

We didn't win in every category--the site ranked the Commonwealth 45th in transportation and 47th in commute.

But the study did call Massachusetts "a state whose fabric is woven with the modern and traditional, immense range and diversity, a formula that allows for tremendous innovation and growth."

"They can't seem to do anything wrong--this has just come out and I'm already getting a little sick of them!" joked Kelly.

"For the record, we're not sick of it," said Baker.

Our neighbor to the north, New Hampshire, ranked second; Vermont was ranked tenth.

"New Hampshire is among the best states in the nation to live, work and raise a family," New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu said in a statement. "Though we have much work to do to ensure that our state continues to grow and thrive, this announcement is something that Granite Staters can be particularly proud of today.  It will also serve as useful information to those considering moving their home or business to New Hampshire."

Read the full report on Massachusetts here, and the full ranking of states here.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Carl Stevens reports

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