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Scott Evans
March 12, 2024

Worst and Best States to Live (2024)

A study of the worst and the best states to live in (2024)

The U.S Census Bureau estimates that a person in the United States can expect to move 11.7 times in their lifetime and with moving home being one of the biggest purchases a person may ever make, it's important to make the right choice when moving.

To determine the worst and best states to live in, storage company Pink Storage compared all 50 states across 16 key indicators.  The data ranges from the affordability of housing, and levels of violent crime to the average life expectancy.

Main Findings

All columns in the table reflect the relative rank of that state, a rank of 1 represents the worst conditions for that category.

States with the highest unemployment rates

  1. Nevada 5.3%
  2. California 5.1%
  3. New Jersey 4.8%
  4. Illinois 4.7%
  5. Alaska 4.6%, New York 4.6%

States with the lowest unemployment rates

  1. North Dakota 1.9%
  2. South Dakota 2.1%
  3. Maryland 2.2%
  4. Vermont 2.3%
  5. Nebraska 2.5%

States that worked the most (hours)

  1. Louisiana (44.3)
  2. Texas (43.6)
  3. Tennessee (42.3)
  4. Michigan (42.1)
  5. Arizona (42)

States that worked the least (hours)

  1. Alaska (31.3)
  2. New Mexico (35.9)
  3. Montana (36.8)
  4. New Hampshire (37.2)
  5. Vermont (37.6)

States with the highest graduation rates

  1. Iowa, West Virginia 92%
  2. Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, New Jersey 91%
  3. Florida, Illinois, Missouri, Tennessee, Wisconsin 90%
  4. Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Virginia 89%
  5. Connecticut, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah 88%

States with the lowest graduation rates

  1. New Mexico 77%
  2. Alaska 79%
  3. Oklahoma 81%
  4. Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, South Carolina, Wyoming, 82%
  5. Louisiana, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, Washington 83%

States with the highest childcare costs per year

  1. Massachusetts ($20,913)
  2. California ($16,945)
  3. Minnesota ($16,087)
  4. Connecticut ($15,501)
  5. New York ($15,394)

States with the lowest childcare costs per year

  1. Mississippi ($5,436)
  2. Alabama ($6,001)
  3. Kentucky ($6,411)
  4. South Dakota ($6,511)
  5. Arkansas ($6,890)

States with the highest rates of violent crime (per 100,000 residents)

  1. New Mexico 7.8
  2. Alaska 7.59
  3. Arkansas 6.45
  4. Louisiana 6.29
  5. Tennessee 6.22

States with the lowest rates of violent crime (per 100,000 residents)

  1. Maine 1.03
  2. New Hampshire 1.26
  3. Connecticut 1.5
  4. Rhode Island 1.72
  5. Wyoming 2.02

States with the highest rates of property crime (per 100,000 residents)

  1. Washington 33.56
  2. Colorado 31.48
  3. New Mexico 29.84
  4. Oregon 29.35
  5. Louisiana 27.48

States with the lowest rates of property crime (per 100,000 residents)

  1. Idaho 9.7
  2. New Hampshire 10.11
  3. Massachusetts 10.7
  4. Maine 12.13
  5. West Virginia 12.3

States where houses sold the quickest

  1. Massachusetts 28 days
  2. Nebraska 31 days
  3. Delaware 34 days
  4. Rhode Island 35 days
  5. Alaska, Kansas 36 days

States where houses sold the slowest

  1. South Dakota 83 days
  2. Hawaii 79 days
  3. Louisiana 75 days
  4. South Carolina 73 days
  5. Tennessee 69 days

In the table above, a score of 100 indicates the worst state for that category.  For example, Nevada has the worst score when it comes to the highest levels of unemployment, whereas residents of South Dakota have to wait the longest to sell a home.

Scott Evans of Storage Company Pink Storage comments on the findings:

"Moving home is one of the biggest decisions that you will have to make during your lifetime and if you are moving across state lines the move can be even more difficult."

"Everyone will have different criteria when moving homes, but most people will want to live in an area with affordable housing, good job prospects and low crime levels.  Our study focuses on these core principles and should give some insights into what can be expected when moving to a certain state."


To determine the best and worst states in America to live in, Pink Storage compared the 50 states across four categories: 1) Economy, 2) Childcare and Education, 3) Crime Rate, and 4) Housing Affordability. 

We evaluated the 4 categories using 16 relevant metrics that were equally weighted. These included average income, average commute time, total hours worked per week, unemployment rates, childcare costs per year, cost of going to college, graduation rate, life expectancy, violent crime, property crime, auto crime, police per capita, housing affordability, days on the market, house price change and utility bills.

Finally, we determined each state's weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used these scores to rank-order our sample.

Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Zillow, Redfin, FBI Crime Data Explorer, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Energy Information Administration, and Data is correct as of 12/03/2024.

Self Storage

Scott Evans

Scott Evans is the Managing Director of Pink Storage and has many years of experience in the Self Storage Space. Scott has been featured on websites such as MSN, Yahoo, Wales Online, Daily Mail, The Express, The Mirror and many more by sharing his knowledge on everything storage.

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