Iowa is pretty darn livable

April 1, 2008 —

According to Congressional Quarterly, Iowa is the fifth most livable state in the country. They make these designations based on quality-of-life indicators such as low crime and poverty, high income and education rates.

This ranking is based on the following factors, applied to all states:

Negative Factors 
1. Percent Change in Number of Crimes: 2005 to 2006
2. Crime Rate 
3. State Prisoner Incarceration Rate 
4. Personal Bankruptcy Rate 
5. Estimated Pupil-Teacher Ratio in Public Elementary and Secondary Schools
6. Rate of Public Libraries and Branches 
7. Unemployment Rate 
8. Percent of Nonfarm Employees in Government 
9. Average Monthly Electric Bill for Residential Customers 
10. Hazardous Waste Sites on the National Priority List per 10,000 Square Miles 
11. State and Local Taxes as a Percent of Personal Income 
12. Per Capita State and Local Government Debt Outstanding 
13. Percent of Population Not Covered by Health Insurance 
14. Births of Low Birthweight as a Percent of All Births 
15. Teenage Birth Rate 
16. Infant Mortality Rate 
17. Age-Adjusted Death Rate by Suicide 
18. Population per Square Mile 
19. Poverty Rate 
20. Percent of Female-Headed Families with Children Living in Poverty 
21. State and Local Government Spending for Welfare Programs as a Percent of All Spending 
22. Percent of Households Receiving Food Stamps 
23. Deficient Bridges as a Percent of Total Bridges 
24. Highway Fatality Rate 
25. Fatalities in Alcohol-Related Crashes as a Percent of All Highway Fatalities 

Positive Factors 
26. Per Capita Gross Domestic Product 
27. Percent Change in Per Capita Gross Domestic Product: 2002 to 2006 (Adjusted to Constant 2000 Dollars) 
28. Per Capita Personal Income 
29. Change in Per Capita Personal Income: 2005 to 2006 
30. Median Household Income 
31. Estimated Public High School Graduation Rate 
32. Percent of Population Graduated from High School 
33. Expenditures for Education as a Percent of All State and Local Government Expenditures 
34. Percent of Population With a Bachelor’s Degree or More 
35. Books in Public Libraries Per Capita 
36. Per Capita State Art Agencies’ Legislative Appropriations 
37. Average Weekly Earnings of Production Workers on Manufacturing Payrolls 
38. Job Growth: 2006 to 2007 
39. Normal Daily Mean Temperature 
40. Percent of Days That Are Sunny 
41. Homeownership Rate 
42. Domestic Migration of Population: 2005 to 2006 
43 Marriage Rate 
44. Percent of Eligible Population Reported Voting 

Full report


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