Despite its pristine beaches, Silicon Valley, and Hollywood, when it comes to quality of life, California was ranked last after Indiana and New Jersey, U.S. News found.
This is mainly because the Golden State has scored abysmally low in social engagement and environmental quality categories.
Social engagement includes factors like community cohesion and voting participation. U.S. News researchers believe that Californians fared so poorly because they fail to have healthy and rewarding interactions with those around them.
The quality of life is shaped by such interactions and a healthy environment. Also, California has a housing problem, with many residents barely affording a roof above their heads.
Last year, a Harvard study found that 33% of people paying a rent in Los Angeles are “severely burdened”. This means that more than half of their income goes to housing. The LA Times confirmed the news with a report that the average rent for a room in LA County jumped 67%.
There is also the homelessness problem California has failed repeatedly to address. The state’s number of homeless people has surged 75% between 2012 and 2017. Currently, around 55,000 Californians are living on the streets.
And the State with the Best Quality of Life Is…
The U.S. News poll included other factors that influence the quality of life like access to healthcare, opportunity, economic growth, crime rates, infrastructure, and taxes.
California scored very low in fiscal stability (43rd), infrastructure (38th) and opportunity (46th). It scored quite high in economy (4th) and access to healthcare (11th).
On the list of best and worst U.S. states to live in, California holds the 32nd spot behind Florida (No. 15), New York (No. 25), and New Jersey (No. 19).
The state with the highest quality of life is Iowa, which holds the top spot in the healthcare and infrastructure categories as well.
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