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These are the best — and worst — states in the U.S.

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U.S. News & World Report released its third annual list of the best and worst states in America to live in, based on "thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their citizens," according to the rankings. And the winners and losers of 2019 may catch some by surprise.

Washington state takes the No. 1 spot, followed by New Hampshire and Minnesota taking home the bronze. The states achieved their high rankings by doing well in eight categories: Health care, education, a state's economy, infrastructure, the opportunity the state affords its residents, the fiscal stability of state government, crime and corrections and natural environment.

Some categories of measurement were given more "weight" in the rankings, based on a survey of what matters the most to citizens, according to the site. Health care and education were weighted the highest, followed by state economies, infrastructure and the opportunity states offer their citizens.

Other states, however, did not fare as well this year. Louisiana is ranked as the worst state to live, followed by Alabama and Mississippi ranked in the 48th spot. The last three states all rank in the bottom 10 percent in the health care category, as well as the education and economy category.

Top 10 best states

  1. Washington
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Minnesota
  4. Utah
  5. Vermont
  6. Maryland
  7. Virginia
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Nebraska
  10. Colorado

Top 10 worst states

  1. Louisiana
  2. Alabama
  3. Mississippi
  4. West Virginia
  5. New Mexico
  6. Arkansas
  7. Alaska
  8. Oklahoma
  9. South Carolina
  10. Pennsylvania
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