Special Report

The Worst Thing About Every State

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Worst thing: Most expensive real estate

Hawaii has the most expensive real estate in the country, making homeownership less affordable for a larger share of residents. The median home value is $631,700, compared to a national median home value of $229,700.

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Worst thing: Least money spent on students in public schools

Idaho spends just under $7,500 per elementary and secondary school pupil, the second lowest amount in the country. The national average is $12,200.

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Worst thing: Lowest credit rating

With a woefully underfunded pension system and a chronic budget deficit, Illinois has by far the lowest credit rating from financial services firm Moody’s — just above junk status.

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Worst thing: Highest concentration of harmful air pollution

Indiana has the highest concentration of harmful air pollution of any state at 11.8 PM2.5 per cubic meter of air. Nationwide, the average daily concentration of PM2.5 — or particulate matter with a diameter less than 2.5 micrometers — is 8.6 per cubic meter.

Worst thing: Worst handling of the COVID-19 pandemic

According to a COVID-19 survey taken monthly in all states, Gov. Kim Reynolds has seen the biggest drop in approval rating over her handling of the health emergency — from 52% in late April to 28% in late July. State governors average a 51% approval rating.