California makes poor showing
in State livability study
By Brigid Gaffikin, Bay City News
March 8, 2006
California ranked relatively poorly in Morgan Quitno Press's
annual Most Livable State Award, announced today, placing 34th
out of the 50 states surveyed.
New Hampshire earned first place in the survey, followed by Minnesota.
The Most Livable State Award considers 44 negative and positive
factors ranging from a state's crime rate, personal bankruptcy
rate and highway fatality rate to median household income, per
capita gross state product and percentage of days each year that
A high proportion of books in public libraries per capita and
a strong showing at the polls among a state's eligible voters
will help boost it's ranking.
But factors like high average monthly electric bills and state
prisoner incarceration rates will push down a state's showing.
California's ranking in part reflects its size, according to
Scott Morgan, Morgan Quitno's president.
"California is essentially a country into its own in terms
of its size" and many regions, some of them "tremendously
strong" and others "remarkably bad," together contribute
to the state's ranking, he said.
That said, no one factor can skew a state's place and nothing
in the survey has more weight than anything else, Morgan explained.
California did do well in a few areas, coming in 44th for its
low rate of personal bankruptcy and having the 47th lowest rate
of infant mortality.
The state also has more sunny days each year than all but three
states - Arizona, Hawaii and New Mexico - another factor that
helps boost it's placing.
But the state placed near the bottom in other areas, with the
lowest rate of marriage among all states and falling behind only
New York in home ownership, both factors Morgan Quitno considers
positive indicators of a state's livability, Morgan said.
Morgan Quitno Press is a Lawrence, Kan., independent, private
research and publishing company that specializes in reference
books comparing states and cities in a range of subject areas,
according to the company's Web site, at http://www.morganquitno.com/srml.htm
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