Iowa, a Midwest farm state in the heart of the United States and host of the winter caucuses, takes first place in U.S. News’ recent “Best States” rankings, which assess and rank how well states perform in serving their citizens’ needs. The study considers health care, education, opportunities, the state’s economy, infrastructure, crime and correction, fiscal stability, and quality of life. Iowa scored highly in infrastructure and healthcare, which are among the top stated priorities of the general public.

How Healthcare & Education Affect Household Decision-Making

Knowing how a state ranks in serving their citizens’ needs in these eight major categories could change real estate investors’ strategies. The development of an area increases the value of living in that specific area. For example, U.S. News’ Best States Ranking of states in healthcare and education proves that citizens with higher education levels are healthier than individuals with lower levels of education. Educated citizens make better healthcare choices and can afford better quality healthcare. Since these factors directly affect how desirable a location will be to homeowners and tenants, investors should be aware of how their markets measure up in these areas.

One of the most important aspects of real estate investing is infrastructure. The ability to attract people to an area that gives them suitable transportation, for example, increases the prospects for real estate investment and economically improves an entire region. Commuters feel comfortable living in areas with access to good-paying jobs. Real estate investors want to attract end users to rental or purchase properties in areas with great infrastructure. An area without sufficient infrastructure may be unattractive to their clients, thus affecting investors’ bottom line profits.

The Breakdown

Minnesota took second place in the rankings behind Iowa, as it ranked highly in terms of quality of life and opportunity for its citizens: second and third place, respectively. The remaining states that comprise the Top 10 include Utah, North Dakota, New Hampshire, Washington, Nebraska, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Colorado.

  • Hawaii for Healthcare
  • Massachusetts for Education
  • Colorado for Economy
  • New Hampshire for Opportunity
  • Iowa for Infrastructure
  • Maine for Crime & Corrections
  • Utah for Fiscal Stability
  • North Dakota for Quality Of Life

U.S. News creates this report to assist the federal government as it makes important decisions on how much responsibility to give states in deciding upon spending and policymaking. This comprehensive list is an invaluable resource for state trends and developments. It is especially useful in understanding the strengths of each state and spotting areas they can improve upon to better accommodate their citizens’ needs.

What Matters To Most Residents

According to U.S. News analysts, the report weighs some considerations more heavily than others based on how survey respondents say they weigh their satisfaction with their current state. For example, health care and education are more important to the general population than anything else, so the report weighs them most heavily. is is why Iowa ranked higher than second place Minnesota even though Minnesota had higher quality of life and opportunity rankings than Iowa. Iowa ranked first in infrastructure and third in healthcare.

According to the survey, residents value local economic health, opportunities, and state infrastructure just behind education and health care. Crime and corrections follow that, and then government fiscal stability and quality of life. Iowa ranked fifth for education, fourth for opportunity, and ninth for quality of life, but still rose to the top of the list thanks to those solid rankings and the top ranking for infrastructure. Massachusetts (8th overall) ranked first for education, while Hawaii (17th) ranked first for healthcare, but ranked in the lower half of the list of states for education, infrastructure, fiscal stability, and quality of life.

These scores are derived from a series of surveys that interview, cumulatively, more than 30,000 adults from all 50 U.S. states. “The survey results were weighted to be representative of the country’s population across all ages, genders, ethnicities, and household incomes,” U.S. News analysts wrote. The team noted that because of the strict guidelines used to govern the caliber of the data used in the report, “some of the desired metrics were not available, such as government corruption, which is not regularly updated.”

Roz Booker is a certified delegate spokeswoman & board member of NAWRB and the owner of a certified women-owned business Arbrook Realty. She may be reached at or

Desiree Patno is the CEO of NAWRB, Women in the Housing & Real Estate Ecosystem. Learn more at

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