The 10 Best States To Live In America For 2024

The best states in the United States are New Hampshire and Massachusetts for 2024 based on Saturday Night Science.

best States In The United States Map

Do you live in one of the best states in the United States?

People across the nation like to think they live in the best state in the country. After all, you wouldn’t spend your life somewhere you truly didn’t love. Right?

Not always.

This ranking uses Saturday Night Science to determine which of our great American states are the absolute best. We compared ranking factors that almost all Americans would agree are desirable, like home prices, crime, and incomes from Zillow, the FBI, and the Census.

While you may have strong opinions about the results, you can’t argue against the methodology.

Table Of Contents: Top Ten | Methodology | Summary | Table

What is the best state in America? It turns out New Hampshire is the best state to live in the country based on the data. The worst? You might not be too surprised that New Mexico takes the cake.

There are some super great states to live in and some lousy states to live in. Even in some large cities, there’s a safe and rough side of town. If you live in a Northeastern State, things look pretty rosy.

Please read below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your state ranked. Or check out more on the worst states in America. For more positive news, feel free to check out the best places to live in the country.

Or, if you’re interested in reading something else, check out:

The 10 Best States To Live In The United States For 2024

1. New Hampshire

New-Hampshire|Nh, NH

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 1,379,610
Median Income: $90,845 (Sixth best)
Average Home Price: $448,250 (Tenth best)
Total Crime Per Capita: 0.0123
More On New Hampshire: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

It was close, but New Hampshire finished a tad bit ahead of Massachusetts when it comes to the best state to live in America for 2024. Is that a surprise? For everyone who lives outside of New Hampshire, it is. This result is the fourth year in a row NH claimed this mantle.

New Hampshire kicks butt in many ways. Crime is the lowest in the country. When you look at the number of people killed in each state, it’s pretty telling. California is way up here, and New Hampshire is way down here. There’s 130x less violence in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire also has the nation’s first least number of people living in poverty. That’s a sign people are self-reliant and independent. Living here doesn’t cost an arm and a leg; people are educated and healthy. The only setback for youth is the high cost of getting a college degree, but there are many jobs in the area. The unemployment rate here is basically zero.

No place is perfect; while there’s no income tax here, property taxes are through the roof.

Add it all up (other factors included), and you can’t find a better place to live than in the Granite State. Overall, you’re likely a pretty happy camper if you live in New Hampshire.

2. Massachusetts

Massachusetts|Ma, MA

Source: Public domain

Population: 6,984,205
Median Income: $96,505 (Third best)
Average Home Price: $589,253 (Third best)
Total Crime Per Capita: 0.0134
More On Massachusetts: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

Massachusetts is an awesome place to live. Households bring in over $96,505 a year, which isn’t too shabby.

Homes are some of the most expensive in the country. That’s a good sign that the overall economy in the Bay State is stable, and there’s demand to live there. As economists, we know that home prices are the single biggest determinant of demand to live in a place and high home prices mean a lot of demand for this Northeastern state.

Massachusetts is also one of the most densely pact states in the county (3rd most), so there’s plenty to do in a short drive.

3. Hawaii

Hawaii|Hi, HI

Source: Public domain

Population: 1,450,589
Median Income: $94,814 (Fourth best)
Average Home Price: $830,193 (First best)
Total Crime Per Capita: 0.0259
More On Hawaii: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

Our next stop is truly an island paradise. We’re heading to Hawaii! Hawaii ranks as the third best state to call home for 2024. There’s lots things that make Hawaii a great state. Hawaii gets an A-plus by CNBC for it’s latest quality of life score, citing clean air, a ton of things to do, and really low crime rates. Plus, there’s rainbows everywhere.

And amazing beaches.

It’s expensive to live in Hawaii, sure. Home prices are the highest in the land – the average Hawaiian home costs over $830,193. You get what you pay for though – there’s beauty around every corner, and most residents live a healthy, safe life, according to the numbers. Everyone wants to live here, as you can tell by the astronomically high home prices. That also means a lot of well educated folks call Hawaii home.

The state does not appear higher on the list because of a bit of a crime problem relative to the rest of the top ten, but nothing to sneeze at.

4. New Jersey

New-Jersey|Nj, NJ

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 4.0

Population: 9,249,063
Median Income: $97,126 (Second best)
Average Home Price: $495,846 (Seventh best)
Total Crime Per Capita: 0.0130
More On New Jersey: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

Growing up in New Jersey, I would have told you it’s the best state, but I’ll settle for #4. What other state can elicit a cheer from every native across the bar?

New Jersey residents are some of the wealthiest in the country; families here earn about $97,126 a year. It’s pretty safe in New Jersey, as a whole. And you’d be hard pressed to find a state with a better funded and managed public school system. At least for now.

The downside? It’s the most densely populated place in the state, and commute times are longer than almost anywhere else. That’s even taking into account the long stretches in Jersey where there are more cows than people.

5. Rhode Island

Rhode-Island|Ri, RI

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 2.0

Population: 1,094,250
Median Income: $81,370 (15th best)
Average Home Price: $436,519 (13th best)
Total Crime Per Capita: 0.0143
More On Rhode Island: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

Rhode Island, our fifth best state to live in America. Now, here in Rhode Island, the statistics are pretty solid. This is the seventh safest state you can live in, based on violent and property crimes per capita. It’s also fourth in terms of number of residents who have medical coverage, and 16th in terms of secondary education.

What’s also interesting about Rhode Island is that it is the 2nd most densely populated state in America. Some might say that’s bad – they want wide open spaces. However, Rhode Island’s commute times are about average, nothing like in nearby New York and New Jersey. That means while there are people all over here, it’s not overly crowded. Having things to do, and social activities was part of what we measured.

Did you know Rhode Island has more donuts per person than any other state? That’s right. There’s donut shops everywhere here. You could get practically any type of donut on your short drive to work each day.

Rhode Island has a lot to boast about.

6. Vermont

Vermont|Vt, VT

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 3.0

Population: 643,816
Median Income: $74,014 (19th best)
Average Home Price: $384,154 (19th best)
Total Crime Per Capita: 0.0135
More On Vermont: Biggest Cities

Vermont is a great place to live for completely different reasons. Crime here is really low; Vermont is the sixth safest state you can live in. (New Mexico is the most dangerous). There were only 10 murders in Vermont in all of last year. In Chicago, that many people get shot at one party!

If you value a good public school education, then Vermont is your place. The schools here are well funded, and just about the least crowded that you’ll find in the country. That’s not a surprise, since just more than a half million people live in the entire state. Vermont also ranks as the third best place for health insurance, too. Which means people here are healthy as a clam stuck in the mud.

And finally, Vermont has the beautiful Lake Champlain, one of the most picturesque places in the country. People in Vermont are like: Stop saying we’re awesome. We don’t want any more people moving here!” Sorry, Vermont, you’re just so likable.

7. Connecticut

Connecticut|Ct, CT

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY 2.0

Population: 3,611,317
Median Income: $90,213 (Eighth best)
Average Home Price: $381,629 (20th best)
Total Crime Per Capita: 0.0172
More On Connecticut: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

Connecticut misses the top three for the first time in a while. Connecticut families are some of the wealthiest in the country, no doubt. But when you factor in the cost of living, those salaries don’t go quite as far here as they would in other states.

Homes sell quickly here, and there are less vacant housing units in Connecticut than any other state. That’s a very positive sign for the Constitution State. Connecticuters are also very educated. There are only three other states with bigger brains than here. The public schools are great here — perhaps a little overcrowded, but not too bad.

And it’s one of the least dangerous states in the country as well. Connecticut ranks as the tenth safest, in terms of annual crimes, and fourth lowest for violent crimes.

However, they certainly aren’t spending all that money on the roads, nor are the highways in Connecticut safe. The Pothole State was voted as having the nation’s worst roads. Half of them are considered in disrepair on any given year. Drivers can be selfish, and the wealthy people in Connecticut are sorta snobby. Guess you just have to have thick skin to live here.

Plus, we discovered that if you like people with fresh breath, Connecticut is your place. Connecticuters have the cleanest teeth in all the land. Definitely something to be proud of.

8. Maryland

Maryland|Md, MD

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 2.0

Population: 6,161,707
Median Income: $98,461 (First best)
Average Home Price: $404,251 (16th best)
Total Crime Per Capita: 0.0198
More On Maryland: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

Rounding out the top ten best states for 2024 is Maryland. Sunshine on your shoulders can make you happy. It’s been proven. And in Maryland, the sun shines a lot. Some of the best places include Mount Airy and Bowie, while not exactly known names, they beat Baltimore handily.

Maryland families command the highest salaries in the U.S. with more than $98,461 a year combined income. In addition to the great public schools in Maryland, residents are some of the most educated in the country. A staggering 42% of adults have completed college which ranks as the third best in the country.

So overall, Maryland is a pretty great place to live according to the numbers.

9. Virginia

Virginia|Va, VA

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY 3.0

Population: 8,624,511
Median Income: $87,249 (Tenth best)
Average Home Price: $371,544 (22nd best)
Total Crime Per Capita: 0.0166
More On Virginia: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

Virginia took a bit of a hit this year as it’s a bit too close to the swamp that is DC to maintain a higher position in the pantheon of best states.

Virginia and Maryland are just about the wealthiest states in the country. We’re not saying that money is the cure-all for happiness, but it sure does help a lot. And you might be surprised to hear that Virginia is actually the eighth least dangerous state in the country. That’s according to the latest FBI statistics, which measure violent and property crimes per capita.

The public schools in Virginia are above average and they are some of the least crowded you’ll find. The only real category where Virginia did poorly is insured residents as over 10% of residents lack coverage.

10. Minnesota

Minnesota|Mn, MN

Source: Wikipedia User | CC BY-SA 4.0

Population: 5,695,292
Median Income: $84,313 (13th best)
Average Home Price: $324,667 (25th best)
Total Crime Per Capita: 0.0239
More On Minnesota: Biggest Cities | Average Rent

Minnesota moved up a spot to the seventh best states to live in America. Overall in Minnesota, people work pretty hard and have good values. The unemployment rate is the fourth lowest in America, and for darn good reason — there’s pride in work.

Minnesota is part of what we refer to as the ‘nidwest’ — for northern midwest. And when you look at the numbers, the nidwest rocks when it comes to livability, second only to the northeast. In Minnesota, families earn about $84,313 a year, which is one of the highest numbers in the nation. And not only do they live relatively comfortable lives, folks in Minnesota are a lot safer than most other states, too. Houses are selling faster than in most other states.

The only knock on Minnesota is of course, the weather. Minnesota winters were actually voted as the worst in America. There are long stretches in Minnesota when you’re trapped at home. You can’t even get your car doors open, much less drive through all the snow.

Minnesota thinks it should be first in America. That’s a little aggressive, Minnesota. You’re pretty cool, but not THAT cool.

Methodology: How to determine the best states in the US

To rank the best states to live in the United States, we had to determine what criteria people like about a state. It is reasonable to assume that people like low crime, solid education, insurance, things to do, and a stable economy.

We used Saturday Night Science to compare these criteria across every state in the country. We used FBI crime data, Zillow home price data, and the most recent 2018-2022 American Community Survey, to rank the following criteria for each state:

  • High population density
  • Low unemployment rates
  • High median income
  • High home values
  • High levels of college education
  • High levels of insured people
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty

We then ranked each state from 1 to 50 for the criteria, with a #1 ranking being the best for the particular criteria. Next, we averaged the rankings into one “Best Place To Live Index.”

Finally, we ranked every state on the “Best Place To Live Index,” with the lowest index being the Best State To Live in America for 2024, New Hampshire.

We updated this article for 2024. This list is our tenth time ranking the best states to live in America. If you’d like to see the complete list of states, from best to worst, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Summary: The Best States To Live In The Country

As we said earlier, trying to determine the best states in America is usually a subjective matter. But this is an accurate list if you’re analyzing states with the best economic situations, where there’s low crime and low poverty (for the most part).

The best states in the United States for 2024 are New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Hawaii, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont, Connecticut, Maryland, Virginia, and Minnesota.

If you’re curious, here are the worst states in the USA, according to science. Things are not too charming in the South:

  1. New Mexico
  2. Louisiana
  3. Arkansas

For more reading, check out:

Best States In The United States For 2024

Rank State Population Median Income Median Home Values Crime Per Capita
1 New Hampshire 1,379,610 $90,845 $448,250 0.0123
2 Massachusetts 6,984,205 $96,505 $589,253 0.0134
3 Hawaii 1,450,589 $94,814 $830,193 0.0259
4 New Jersey 9,249,063 $97,126 $495,846 0.0130
5 Rhode Island 1,094,250 $81,370 $436,519 0.0143
6 Vermont 643,816 $74,014 $384,154 0.0135
7 Connecticut 3,611,317 $90,213 $381,629 0.0172
8 Maryland 6,161,707 $98,461 $404,251 0.0198
9 Virginia 8,624,511 $87,249 $371,544 0.0166
10 Minnesota 5,695,292 $84,313 $324,667 0.0239
11 Wisconsin 5,882,128 $72,458 $286,891 0.0179
12 Washington 7,688,549 $90,325 $568,346 0.0303
13 Maine 1,366,949 $68,251 $386,587 0.0125
14 Utah 3,283,809 $86,833 $510,835 0.0270
15 New York 19,994,379 $81,386 $452,476 0.0172
16 Idaho 1,854,109 $70,214 $442,087 0.0133
17 Iowa 3,188,836 $70,571 $210,484 0.0199
18 Delaware 993,635 $79,325 $373,328 0.0238
19 Pennsylvania 12,989,208 $73,170 $256,703 0.0200
20 California 39,356,104 $91,905 $746,472 0.0258
21 Wyoming 577,929 $72,495 $338,887 0.0186
22 North Dakota 776,874 $73,959 $251,027 0.0242
23 Nebraska 1,958,939 $71,722 $249,973 0.0222
24 Illinois 12,757,634 $78,433 $252,041 0.0196
25 Colorado 5,770,790 $87,598 $531,605 0.0328
26 Ohio 11,774,683 $66,990 $218,216 0.0214
27 Indiana 6,784,403 $67,173 $230,053 0.0213
28 Oregon 4,229,374 $76,632 $487,750 0.0296
29 Florida 21,634,529 $67,917 $392,904 0.0216
30 Michigan 10,057,921 $68,505 $233,858 0.0182
31 Kentucky 4,502,935 $60,183 $197,457 0.0203
32 Montana 1,091,840 $66,341 $447,821 0.0256
33 South Dakota 890,342 $69,457 $293,181 0.0246
34 Georgia 10,722,325 $71,355 $319,165 0.0240
35 Kansas 2,935,922 $69,747 $216,853 0.0260
36 North Carolina 10,470,214 $66,186 $320,323 0.0268
37 West Virginia 1,792,967 $55,217 $157,498 0.0175
38 Arizona 7,172,282 $72,581 $423,568 0.0281
39 Nevada 3,104,817 $71,646 $418,963 0.0241
40 Texas 29,243,342 $73,035 $298,423 0.0270
41 Alaska 734,821 $86,370 $349,554 0.0308
42 Missouri 6,154,422 $65,920 $237,658 0.0307
43 Tennessee 6,923,772 $64,035 $309,795 0.0315
44 Alabama 5,028,092 $59,609 $221,926 0.0254
45 South Carolina 5,142,750 $63,623 $287,064 0.0330
46 Mississippi 2,958,846 $52,985 $174,931 0.0240
47 Oklahoma 3,970,497 $61,364 $198,107 0.0317
48 Arkansas 3,018,669 $56,335 $199,259 0.0330
49 Louisiana 4,640,546 $57,852 $199,312 0.0353
50 New Mexico 2,112,463 $58,722 $293,040 0.0361

Best Places By State

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.