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Why U.S. News & World Report Ranked Colorado One of the Best States

Interactive graphics and more below.
Interactive graphics and more below. File photo
Last month, U.S. News & World Report announced that Denver was the second-best place to live in the country, behind only Austin, Texas. Now the publication has come out with its rankings of best states, and Colorado as a whole did mighty well, too, finishing ninth overall.

The publication used an absolutely staggering number of metrics. More than a hundred of them are arrayed below, as grouped in seven major categories: health care, education, crime & corrections, infrastructure, opportunity, economy and government.

As you'll see, Colorado scored extremely high marks when it came to the economy, but its performance under the opportunity umbrella leaves plenty to be desired and is probably responsible for the state not finishing even higher overall.

Below, find a summary of the data, supplemented by interactive, Colorado-centric U.S. News & World Report graphics that will take you to reams of additional information with just a click. That's followed by the roster of the top nine states, so you can discover which ones the mag considers to be even better than Colorado.
Health Care NATIONAL RANK #11

Health Care Access #25

Adult Dental Visits #18
Adult Wellness Visits #43
Child Dental Visits #11
Child Wellness Visits #41
Health Care Affordability #22
Health Insurance Enrollment #22

Public Health #9

Low Infant Mortality Rate #10
Low Mortality Rate #7
Low Obesity Rate #1
Low Smoking Rate #15
Low Suicide Rate #46
Mental Health #47

Health Care Quality #5

Fewest Hospital Readmissions #3
Fewest Nursing Home Citations #37
Medicare Quality #10

Education NATIONAL RANK #18

Higher Education #8

2-Year College Grad. Rate #21
4-Year College Grad. Rate #23
Educational Attainment #2
Low Debt at Graduation #12
Tuition and Fees #29

Pre-K - 12 #30

College Readiness #27
High School Grad. Rate #41
NAEP Math Scores #16
NAEP Reading Scores #17
Pre-K Quality #27
Preschool Enrollment #14





Crime & Corrections NATIONAL RANK #26

Corrections #25

Change in Incarceration Rate #4
Equality in Juvenile Jailing #8
Least Juvenile Incarceration #35
Low Incarceration Rate #27
Low Prison Overpopulation #42
Parole Completion #40

Public Safety #24

Low Property Crime Rate #28
Low Violent Crime Rate #23

Infrastructure NATIONAL RANK #7

Transportation #18

Bridge Quality #13
Commute Time #33
Public Transit Usage #11
Road Quality #29

Energy #16

Electricity Price #30
Power Grid Reliability #16
Renewable Energy Usage #26

Internet Access #11

Households With Internet Access #7
Online Download Speed #18

Continue to see Colorado's U.S. News & World Report rankings for Opportunity, Economy and Government, plus the list of the top nine states overall.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts