Special Report

The Best and Worst Thing About Each State

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Best: fewest roads in poor condition

Less than 1% of Kansas roads are deemed unserviceable, the lowest share of any state.

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Worst: perhaps the most geographically boring state

Kansas is flat and geographically homogeneous. Driving through the state can put many to sleep.

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Best: horse breeding and racing

Home to the Kentucky Derby, the state is known for breeding and raising horses. Its famous bluegrass is ideal for horse pasture because it is considered nutritious and palatable for the animals.

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Worst: highest cancer mortality

There were 512 cancer diagnoses and 196 cancer deaths per 100,000 Kentucky residents in 2015 — both are the highest rates in the nation.

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Best: least expensive electricity

Louisiana residents pay less per kilowatt hour of electricity than those in all other states.

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Worst: largest gender pay gap

American women make just over 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. In Louisiana, female workers make less than 69 cents on the dollar.

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Best: lowest violent crime rate

Maine ranks as the safest state in the country, as there were just 124 violent crimes reported for every 100,000 residents — less than a third of the national rate.

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Worst: least diverse

According to the latest Census data, 94.4% of Maine’s population is white, beating out nearby Vermont and New Hampshire as the least diverse states.

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Best: highest median household Income

Maryland residents are the most affluent in the country, with a median household income of $80,776 — more than $20,000 higher than the U.S. median.

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Worst: murder in Baltimore

There were over 50 murders committed in Baltimore per 100,000 residents last year, the highest murder rate among cities with a population of at least 100,000.

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