No. 7: Oklahoma
Weaknesses: Health care, personal well-being, crime
The only state on the list with a namesake musical, Oklahoma has 34 state parks, a cowboy museum and the country's longest drivable stretch of Route 66.
Like many states in Middle America, Oklahoma may have a low cost of living, but the state's health care system ranked as the worst in the country, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The agency, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, measures many different aspects of a state's health care system. Hospital admissions for diabetes and asthma, for example, remain a big problem there.
Oklahoma also ranked 3rd from the bottom on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being index. Residents gave very low marks for:
- Feeling an overall sense of purpose in their lives.
- Liking their community and feeling engaged in it.
In addition, Oklahoma's violent and property crime rates also rank in the top 20 states, FBI statistics show. Incidents of rape and burglary, for instance, rank above the national average.
Sources: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Gallup-Healthways; the Council for Community and Economic Research; the FBI; the Tax Foundation, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.