If you’re under 40 or a renter, the California dream of owning a home is out of reach according to a new poll.
California dreamin’? Flying in the face of traditional wisdom that we live on the best coast, comes a stinging new U.S. News & World Report study that says we have the worst quality of life in the nation.
The coveted Best States ranking is part of an annual study that scores all 50 states on eight categories including health care, education, economy, opportunity, infrastructure, crime and corrections, fiscal stability and the most important of all for most of us, quality of life.
Sadly it found that Californians are in the pits by this metric with the Golden State taking last place at No. 50. States like North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, New Hampshire, and South Dakota all kicked our butt in that category, according to this study.
So what constitutes quality of life if it’s not about access to majestic redwoods, sparkling purple sand beaches and an endless coastline? Don’t sunny skies count for anything anymore? Apparently sucking down acai and doing yoga no longer cuts it.
“In addition to a healthy environment, a person’s quality of life is largely a result of their interactions with those around them,” as the U.S. News & World Report editors put it. “Studies show that when people feel socially supported, they experience greater happiness, as well as physical and mental health.”
In case it makes you feel any better, California didn’t rank dead last in the overall rankings. We came in at No. 32 overall, although that’s well behind New Jersey (at No. 19), Florida (at No. 15), and Nebraska (at No. 7). Ouch.
The bottomline is that the state performed well in terms of its economy, coming in at No. 4 (hello, high tech boom) but it fared terribly in categories such as citizen opportunity (No. 46) and fiscal stability (No. 43) in addition to the dreaded quality of life assessment (that scarring No. 50). Of course, as any one who has tried to buy a house in the Bay Area knows, fiscal instability is basically our motto at this point.
And the winner of the best quality of life in the nation goes to, wait for it…Iowa. Give it up for the Hawkeye State.
As USA Today noted, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has this to say on “CBS This Morning:” “Iowa truly is a place where if you work hard, dream big, anything is possible.”
Certainly that used to be how Californians felt about the left coast, at least once upon a time.
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