According to Slate (and a whole lot of numbers), Massachusetts is the best state in the country.
It goes without saying that Massachusetts has the lowest percentage of uninsured residents—5 percent (Thanks Mitt! Mitt? You there, Mitt?), compared to 16 percent nationally, and a whopping 25 percent in Texas. On life expectancy, Massachusetts ties for sixth-highest, about five years longer than the worst-performing states. In another political universe far, far away, you might describe a place like this as pro-life.
A few other metrics of social well-being: The Bay State has the second-lowest teen birth rate, the fourth-lowest suicide rate, and the lowest traffic fatality rate. The birthplace of Dunkin’ Donuts has the sixth-lowest obesity rate. And depending on the source, the first state to legalize gay marriage has either the lowest or one of the very lowest divorce rates in the country.
Finally, let’s take a purely dollars-and-cents look at Massachusetts. No matter where you start on the political spectrum, this is the most important question, because many Americans believe we must choose between social investments and a competitive economy. So what economic sacrifices is Massachusetts making to achieve such extraordinary educational and social outcomes?
None, apparently. Massachusetts has the second-highest per capita personal income among the states. Unemployment in March was 6.5 percent, well below the national 8.2 percent. Its state per-capita GDP ranks sixth-highest. Its median household income (a measure of widely-distributed income) is fifth.
I’m proud to be a Masshole.