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February 28, 2018

New Jersey plods in at number 19 overall on a new ranking of the best states. U.S News & World Report magazine used more than 75 metrics to rank the states for things like the quality of their healthcare, education, and economy, as well as the quality of their infrastructure, public safety, fiscal soundness (or otherwise) and, yes, of their life — to come up with a list of the best.

The section on which New Jersey scores best is education (2nd); U.S. News analyzed a raft of data — on preschool enrollments, Pre-K quality, graduation rates from high schools and colleges, math and reading scores, college readiness, among others, to reach the result. New Jersey scores well on “Crimes & Corrections” too (3rd), with the lowest rate of sexual violence in prisons of any state, and relatively low rates of incarceration and of juvenile incarceration specifically. The state’s rankings for other key indicators are: opportunity (10th), healthcare (12th), and infrastructure (28th).

But, then, things go south for the Garden State. According to U.S. News, New Jersey’s economy performs poorly relative to the economies of the other states (41st). As for its fiscal stability, that earns a not unexpected terrible grade, (49th). But, as bad as some things are in New Jersey, the state's ranking for quality of life (49th) is a bit of a puzzler.

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