Paul Revere by Cyrus Dallin, North End, Boston



Monday, December 7, 2015

Massachusetts Leads the Nation

10 Best (and Worst) States To Live In:

Best States To Live In:

1.   Massachusetts
2.   Connecticut
3.   New Hampshire
4.   New Jersey
5.   Minnesota
6.   Colorado
7.   Maryland
8.   Vermont
9.   Hawaii
10. Virginia

Massachusetts, home to one of the nation’s wealthiest and most highly educated populations, leads the nation. 
Thomas C. Frohlich and Michael B. Sauter
24/7 Wall St. 

Life satisfaction in a given state is often based on highly subjective measures — whether the climate is nice, whether friends and family are present, and other factors. While a connection to a place can often be based on intangibles, a good quality of life in a given state is largely predicated upon a few key factors.

The levels of poverty, education, and health can largely capture living conditions in a state, which tend to vary considerably across the country.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed statewide social and economic measures to rank each state’s living conditions. Massachusetts, home to one of the nation’s wealthiest and most highly educated populations, leads the nation.

Mississippi, the poorest state in the country, trails the other 49 states.

As in many of the other best states to live in, Massachusetts residents are quite wealthy. A typical household earns $69,160 each year, the sixth highest annual median household income in the nation. 

Similarly, the state’s poverty rate of 11.6% is one of the lowest in the nation. As in most states with low poverty rates and high incomes, the average Massachusetts resident will enjoy a relatively long life. The life expectancy at birth in Massachusetts is 80.5 years, versus the national life expectancy of 79 years. 

Massachusetts’ nation-leading college attainment rate of 41.2% — it is the only state where more than two in five adults have a bachelor’s degree — is a major driver of the state’s strong economy and high quality of life. 

Students in the state also score well above average on standardized tests. In states with the best living conditions, demand for housing is often very high, which tends to drive up home values. A typical home in Massachusetts is valued at $338,900, well above the national median home value of $181,200.

(Massachusetts isn't even in the top ten highest in taxes states)

A comparison of 2015 tax rates compiled by the Federation of Tax Administrators ranks California as the top taxer with a 12.3 percent rate, unless you make more than $1 million and have to pay 13.3 percent. 

 Each of these states has a personal income tax floor, deductions, exemptions, credits and varying definitions of taxable income that determine what a citizen actually pays. 

The 10 highest income tax states on the FTA's 2012 list were: 

California 13.3% 
Hawaii 11.0% 
Oregon 9.9% 
Minnesota 9.85% 
Iowa 8.98% 
New Jersey 8.97% 
Vermont 8.95% 
District of Columbia 8.95% 
New York 8.82% 
Maine 7.95%


Doctor Tomato said...

Congratulations to Massachusetts.

The rightwingnuts won't like hearing this, since it's contra to their preconceived ideas of liberal states. Look at the other top states in the top ten - aren't they all mostly liberal states?

The states that are among the poorest and worst run are state run by Tea Party conservatives who've convinced the poor slobs who live there that they're living in paradise because LOW TAXES. Ya get what you pay for. Do people buy shitty products that fall apart beause theyre cheaper than better, well-made but more expensive ones? You wanna fly in a plane put together with cheap parts assembled by low-paid, unhappy workers?

So you get what you pay for. Low taxes = poor services, poor state education, poor quality of life.

Ronnie's Ray Gun said...

Mississippi, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, West Virginia are all states traditionally run by conservative politicians and all traditionally at the bottom when it comes to quality of life issues: poor health care, poor education, poor job opportunities. Yet TeaPaety conservatives keep selling them the line that as long as they can buy all the guns and ammo they want, they're living the beautiful life of FREEDUMB! Because being able to open carry, conceal carry, and leave unsecured guns around so babies can kill each other is the Murkin Dream!

Anonymous said...

MA is a rich state. With that comes many perks. It def benefits form capitalism and some of the best higher learning institutions in the country

you can't expect sates with a majority of middle to lower class families and high minority
populations that suck up many resources to shell out more in taxes.

MA is a High tech state other states had manufacturing jobs which have been outsourced thanks to NAFTA

Kevin Robbins said...

NY is 13th? I demand a recount!

In addition to having wealthier residents, the state has one of the highest concentrations of attractions and amenities in the country, including the most libraries, theater companies, and bars per capita of any state.

We can read, get drunk and watch the theater. Oh well, at least we're not one of those Southern Hell-holes.

Congratulations, Shaw. We'll catch you next year.

skudrunner said...

If you are rich any state is a great place to live. Unfortunately some of us have to work for a living and pay bills and healthcare expenses.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I am not "rich," but I live a comfortable life here in Boston surrounded by:

* beautiful parks (free),
* a magnificent library system (free),
* a sparklingly lovely Boston Harbor Walk (free),
* museums (free on certain days),
* concerts (free on certain days, for example New England Conservatory) and free concerts on the Charles River every summer by the Landmark Symphony Orchestra
* And let's not forget the free Fourth of July extravaganza on the Charles every year.

For a mere $6 in the summer, I can ride and hop on and off Boston Harbor MBTA boats and visit the many Boston Harbor islands. Spectacle Island has a beach for swimming. But I can also ride the MBTA blue line ($1) to Constitution Beach in East Boston (free)

We have an open air market (Haymarket in my neighborhood) on Fridays and Saturdays where I can spend $10 on fruits and veggies and am hardly able to carry it all home because that $10 buys pounds and pounds of food!

Bananas 3 lbs. for a buck;
apples 2 lbs. for a buck;
string beans 1 lb. for a buck;
potatoes, 3 lbs. for a buck.

Also the City of Boston provides 1/2 fare taxi rides for people of a certain age, and the "T" is a huge bargain for people of a certain age as well.

Also, Massachusetts (thanks to Republican Governor Mitt Romney) has the MOST citizens in the country who are covered with health insurance.

As for your "some of us have to work for a living," I started working when I was 12 -- babysitting and saving my money, then I worked, starting at 14, every summer waitressing. During high school I had an after-school job. And I've worked all my life ever since. I've earned my retirement, and am enjoying all the wonderful things Boston, Massachusetts, offers to those who seek these opportunities out.

Shaw Kenawe said...


I HEART New York. Two grandchildren are New Yorkers. And they live not too far from you.

skudrunner said...

Ms. Shaw,

Someone has to pay for all that free stuff you mentioned. That would be the working taxpayer. "Rich" is a confusing term. To the leader it is anyone who works and Earns 250K per year, to others it's a few million.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Some of those perks are subsidized by taxes, but not all. The people of Massachusetts are happy with their state and BTW, our governor is a liberal Republican who is well liked by us libtards. Why? Because he's not a radical asshat. We may not agree with everything he does, but we agree that he's sane and not a hate-filled Obama basher. He'll never make it in national TGOP politics because he's not crazy.

Dave Miller said...

Your state might be higher on the list because of certain GOP legislators here in Nevada...

Nevada Legislator Wants to Shoot Refugees

Dave Miller said...

Skud, why do you steadfastly refuse to use the term President Obama? It's disrespectful to both the office, and the person...

Anonymous said...

Nor is Mass. in the top 10 population. Try handling California's problems with the tax revenues of Mass.

Anonymous said...

Skud, why do you steadfastly refuse to use the term President Obama? It's disrespectful to both the office, and the person...

Do you think he cares Dave?

Shaw Kenawe said...

Anon: "Nor is Mass. in the top 10 population. Try handling California's problems with the tax revenues of Mass."

What has that got to do with anything? You can't compare California with Massachusetts, but we can compare Massachusetts with states that have comparable populations:

2010 census:

Massachusetts population: 6,547,629
10th lowest poverty rate
spending on education per pupil: $14,515

Indiana population: 6,483.802,
23rd highest poverty rate
spending on education per pupil: $9,566

Arizona pop.: 6,392,017
10th highest poverty rate
spending on education per pupil: $7,208

Tennessee pop.: 6,346,105
7th highest poverty rate
spending on education per pupil: $8,208

I was expecting commenters to come here and challenge these stats because for years the accepted meme has been that Massachusetts is "Taxachusetts." Facts are it isn't. The facts are that it's one of the best states to live in for quality of life issues, and that burns the rumps of the perennial haters of Liberal Massachusetts.

Look at the spending on education and also the fact that Massachusetts has the highest number of college and post graduate citizens in the country.

You get what you pay for.

Are we perfect? Absolutely not! And we give our pols hell when they deserve it.

But Massachusetts is NOT what the mean-spirited right wingers have been saying about this liberal state forever. In fact, Massachusetts is a successful state, for the most part, in giving its citizens a very good quality of life when compared with other states in the union.

We rank among the states with the lowest divorce rates in the country, as well as the lowest out-of-wedlock births. But Massachusetts is not a particularly religious state. We were the first to recognize marriage equality. And we have the highest number of insured citizens in the country, and our students lead the country in science and math scores.

Ducky's here said...

Four New England states in the top 10 and the other two are in the top 15.

Damn New England liberals.

Shaw Kenawe said...

I know, Ducky. This sticks in the craws of the people who say liberalism is a mental disease. Well those liberal New England states prove them wrong. But we knew that anyway.

Anonymous said...

you were trying to compare Ma to the rest of the country. An unfair comparison if there ever was one, and you just proved it, thanks.

Shaw Kenawe said...

Anon @11:11 I didn't compare ANYTHING, Wall St. 24/7 did. I just reported it. But I did make a comparison among states with approximately the same population and Massachusetts still came out on top. Much to the frustrating disappointment of folks like you.

Fact are stubborn things and reality is a bitch, innit?

Kevin Robbins said...

Shaw, re the 2:06 comment: It's incredible how much free and low price stuff there is to do around here as well. Almost everyday of the week during the Summer there's free music somewhere or free Shakespeare or some such. When I soon hit 60, I get to ride the bus for half price (50 cents) and audit classes at the community college for free. The best things in life truly are free.

Skud, I'm sorry if we Northerners aren't sending all of our extra cash to our Southern brothers. God gave them bootstraps for a reason.

Dave Miller, you have my extreme sympathy.

skudrunner said...

"Skud, why do you steadfastly refuse to use the term President Obama"

David, I don't see where I mentioned him at all.

As a colonist you should be proud of your state.
As a Texan I know I am proud of mine. The adage that there are two people in this country, people born in Texas and those who wish the were. The rest are just envious.

Shaw Kenawe said...

skudrunner wrote:

As a colonist you should be proud of your state."

skudrunner, I don't live in a colony, I live in a Commonwealth. You obviously don't know the difference.

skudrunner: "As a Texan I know I am proud of mine. The adage that there are two people in this country, people born in Texas and those who wish the were. The rest are just envious."

Yes, skudrunner, we hear Texans constantly telling anyone who will listen how lucky they are to live in Texas, how everything is BIG in Texas, and how the rest of us are so envious.

But perhaps not everyone who lives in Texas would agree -- maybe just the citizens of Texas who are fortunate enough to have health care. Texas, that great state, has one of the WORST records on health coverage for its citizens.

So if you're a rich, connected Texan, you're able to access health care. If you're not, well the message is: "Screw you! I got my health care! Who cares about yours!"

Also, Texas seems to have an inordinate number of conspiracy loons and people who want to secede from the United States of America. Those of us who are observing this longing by so many Texans have no problem with allowing their wish to come true.

Go ahead, be our guest, secede.

PS. Two grandsons were born and live in Texas. If the secessionists get their wish, I guess I'll have to use my American passport to visit what will then be a foreign country. And we Americans may not be so quick to let those foreigners, Texans, come visit our country.

skudrunner said...

Thanks for validating my point
"The rest are just envious"

Les Carpenter said...

It sure is getting comical!! Thanks a bunch skud ole fellow, ya sure know how to give great entertainment.