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Late afternoon aerial view of the Laguna Beach, California coastline. (Photo: Matt Gush, Shutterstock)

U.S. News Best States Rankings Detail California’s Demise

California ranks dead last for Opportunity

By Katy Grimes, May 4, 2023 8:30 am

U.S. News is out with its Best States Rankings, which details California’s demise by showing how far the Golden State has fallen in so many important categories.

U.S. News ranked states on crime and corrections, the economy, education, fiscal stability, healthcare, infrastructure, natural environment and opportunity.

California ranked #33 overall, while Florida ranked #10. Gov. Gavin Newsom may want to read this report before he travels around the country again, taunting Red State Governors. Newsom’s state, under his leftist directions, is failing in most of the report’s categories.

Under Crime and Corrections, the Northeastern states dominate: New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont come in at the top of the index, with California ranked #23. Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Virginia, Idaho and Hawaii rounding out the top 10. However, Hawaii showed poorly under public safety.

The Economy rankings are interesting. #1 is Utah which ranked #7 in Business Environment, #1 in Employment, and #2 in Growth. Utah also ranked #1 Best State Overall.

#2 is Idaho ranking #1 in growth, #8 in business environment, and #5 in employment.

#3 is Colorado, coming in at #5 in Business Environment, #6 in Employment, and #12 in Growth.

New Hampshire, Arizona and Montana came in at #4, #5, and #6 for their solid economies.

Despite Gov. Gavin Newsom bragging that California is the 4th largest economy in the world, California’s Economy came in at #29 with #2 in Business Environment, #38 in Employment, and a dismal #43 in Growth. The thousands and thousands of layoffs in Silicon Valley obviously hurt California’s growth.

States ranked best for Education are #1 Florida, which has risen 28 spots since 2017 according to the Florida Standard. Florida ranked #14 for its Pre-K-12, and #1 for Higher Education.

New Jersey came in at #2 in Education, #1 for Pre-K-12 and #29 for Higher Education.

Massachusetts came in at #3 in Education, #2 for Pre-K-12, and #32 for Higher Education.

Colorado came in at #4, Utah at #5 and Wisconsin #6.

California came in at #20 for Education, coming in at #38 for Pre-K-12, and #3 for Higher Education.

The best states for Fiscal Stability are #1 Utah, also coming in #3 for Long-Term Fiscal Stability, and #4 for Short-Term Fiscal Stability. Utah looks really fiscally stable.

Idaho came in at #2 for Fiscal Stability, showing #6 for Long-Term Fiscal Stability, and #3 for Short-Term Fiscal Stability.

South Dakota came in at #3 for Fiscal Stability, #1 for Long-Term Fiscal Stability, and #10 for Short-Term Fiscal Stability.

Washington came in at #4, Tennessee at #5, and North Dakota #6. Florida ranked #13, coming in at #14 for Long-Term Fiscal Stability, and #20 for Short-Term Fiscal Stability.

Where did California fall under Fiscal Stability? A discouraging #39, showing #35 for Long-Term Fiscal Stability, and #40 for Short-Term Fiscal Stability.

California came in #34 for Infrastructure, because of a shocking #44 for Transportation, #46 for Energy, and #6 for Internet Access. How’s that fraudulent High Speed Rail project coming along? Or the failing electricity grid?

California came in a miserable #50 for Opportunity behind Mississippi, behind West Virginia, behind Louisiana, behind Arkansa. Why? Because no one can afford to live here, or buy a house, or open a business.  California ranked #24 in Economic Opportunity, #50 for Affordability, and #32 for Equality. I remember when California was known as “the land of opportunity.”

California even ranked poorly in Natural Environment because of coming in at #45 for Air & Water Quality, and #7 for Pollution.

California ranked #6 for Health Care, with #4 for Health Care Quality, #4 for Public Health, but came in at #34 for Health Care Access.

Can this state be fixed? Of course. It’s not insurmountable. But decades of Democrat policies and leftist rule is what needs to be overcome. Democrats tear down; they do not build up.

California ranked #33 overall. The once-Golden State was the land of opportunity not that long ago, where people moved from all other states, and from all over the world to start anew. Now, San Francisco is decaying and collapsing before our eyes. Los Angeles is a corrupt s-hole city, and San Diego is now called “Chicago by the Bay.” Sacramento Mayor Darrell Steinberg calls the city’s 11,000+ squatting, drug-addicted, mentally-ill homeless “guests,” as if they were invited to live on the streets.

Here are all of California’s rankings:

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14 thoughts on “U.S. News Best States Rankings Detail California’s Demise

  1. Those that do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
    See the 20th century history of Argentina, Venezuela, Cuba, and soon, Brazil.
    California is now a 3rd world state.

  2. But the weather’s nice and we have a VERY confident (dare I say NARCISSISTIC???) Governor, who is already measuring the Oval Office’s draperies…
    Hey Newsom – put these metrics on your campaign materials and TWIRL, you jackass…

    1. How about #1 in prison felon release. How about #1 in violent Felons from State Prisons release? How about #1 in ruining the cargo shipping supply chain. Used to be 400,000 cargo ships coming into LA and Long Beach Harbors, now only 200,000. How about #1 in ruining the independent trucking industry? And there are more and more.

  3. Wow, even the states we might have thought were sketchy have come in high on fiscal stability, etc. Not California, though! But we knew that, didn’t we. After all we’re living the dream here! — with all of our senses treated to the wondrous spectacle of hellish Dem/Marxist policy results every single day.
    “California! Land of Obstacles and Dead Ends”
    Probably not a good idea to change the state motto quite yet though — we don’t need more stigma.
    Yeah, Travelin’ Gavin might want to do a quick scan of these rankings before hitting the Red State Lecture Circuit again. Obviously he just doesn’t know how bad it is here. Jerk.

    1. Hey, CA had a record budget surplus last year under Gov Newsome. Voters rewarded him with a mighty victory during the spastic Repuug recall in 2021, so Gavin has absolutely no reason to worry about this misguided ranking. I mean, C’mon—I’d love to see the reactions of national hiring directors at major US corporations and professional organizations (e.h., law firms, accounting firms) with this listing of Fl as number1 in higher education! That is a joke. This is why IS News Ramona Cari no weight anymore—They do not reflect reality, business or otherwise.

      1. That’s hilarious. And Newsom’s endless and delusional self-promoting spiel DOES reflect reality?
        Normal residents, the ones who don’t have some sort of self-interested stake in California’s demise, don’t actually need newspapers to tell them that their once-alluring state has become a stinking, filthy, crime-ridden, corrupt, non-functioning pit of a hellhole —– their own eyes and ears and noses and daily experiences inform them of it.

        1. Ha, I think Kelly has been smokin’ some of California’s finest! She/he/him/her can’t see reality through the haze. At least the weather is nice in SD.

  4. “#3 is Colorado, coming in at #5 in Business Environment, #6 in Employment, and #12 in Growth.”
    ^^^ This is what’s known as a “false flag” – we tried this escape route from ’17 to ’19 and retreated back to the 805 after realizing that Denver is turning into East San Francisco, and the Metro Denver Economic Development Department is actively LURING San Francisco tech startups to move to downtown Denver, which is bringing ALL of San Francisco’s um, “soclal” problems along with the 420 weedheads who just want to toke up and lounge around downtown…
    All of those resulted in those inflated ratings, along with a significant DECLINE in the overall quality of life in and around the Denver/Boulder metroplex, which basically now extends all the way from Pueblo to Fort Collins…
    I THINK Grand Junction is still immune from a lot of these social declines, along with the Eastern Plains, but you have NASTY weather (tornadoes, blizzards, hailstorms, etc.) out there…
    Colorado is a big NO-GO…. it’s got California-envy…. and Polis is just as big as a narcissist as Newsom, just a bit more controlled….

  5. What a bunch of crap. FL is number 1 for higher education? Get real. Try getting a job on Wall Street coming from a FL university! Enjoy moving to UT folks—it’s a hoot! And enjoy the summer weather in FL! I’ll stay in perfect San Diego County in SoCal, with terrain from ocean beaches to snow-capped mountains, good universities, great restaurants and entertainment, and a climate that ranges from perfect to sublime. Fora day trip or weekend, Palm Springs and LA are both 2 hours from here. Y’all take care out there in the American hinterlands—It’s ugly out there!

  6. Born and raised in California and it is really discouraging to see what’s happen to my home state in my 62 years. When I graduated in 1978 public colleges and universities were so affordable. Homes were relatively affordable on the coast until the late 90s. It was the land of innovation, opportunity and a fresh start for almost anyone. The best of everything and a state I was proud to be from. I feel very sorry for my nieces and nephews (and great niecses and nephews) and the state they’re inheriting. Most probably won’t stay. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. The old saying is true and the Democrat super majority in Sacramento hasn’t done the state any favors since it became entrenched 20 years ago.

  7. So much BS out of a fake ranking. What is the latest trillion dollar market? Generative AI. The Bay Area hosts literally all of the companies and talent in the sector. How about self-driving? Tesla just decided to centralize all its engineering in the Bay Area. E-tols industry? It’s happening around JPL in LA…..

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