A new ranking finds that Wisconsin is the nation’s 11th “strongest” state. That’s six places higher than a year ago, in the rankings released by Politico Magazine at the same time as the president’s annual State of the Union address. Neighboring Minnesota swapped places with New Hampshire to grab the number two spot this year. Iowa was also ranked ahead of Wisconsin, while Illinois dropped from 27th to 30th place.
The ranking uses federal data to conclude that Wisconsin’s strongest suit is education — with the nation’s 6th highest reading and math scores and the 13th highest percentage of high school graduates. It also has the country’s 8th lowest income inequality rate, and the 12th longest life expectancy rate — and the state ranks in the top 20 for its unemployment, poverty, and home ownership rates. Wisconsin ranks just above the national average for per-capita income and violent crime, and it has the 15th highest obesity rate.
Once again this year, Mississippi finished last in 51st place.