10 Worst States to Live in America — Ranked for 2022

  • If you disagree with the list, don’t blame us — we’re just messengers.

Every state in America will claim to be the country’s best place to live. They can make good points, but sometimes their claims are wildly inaccurate.

Luckily, we have metrics to evaluate each state. And one such list — updated for 2022 — has just come out.

The CNBC America’s Top States for Business list ranks the U.S. states every year. But don’t let the name fool you — this isn’t just about business.

The survey uses 88 metrics across 10 different categories. One of the categories is called Life, Health, and Inclusion, which evaluates things like quality of healthcare, environmental quality, crime rates, and — for the first time — childcare.

States could score a total of 325 points in this category, with the results weighted according to how often the state touts itself as a leader in any given metric. The final score should give a pretty good idea of the quality of everyday life in the state.

So, here are the top 10 states in the U.S. that you don’t want to live in.

10. Nevada — 110 out of 325 points

The survey found that Nevada is one of the worst places in America to bring up a child. The number of childcare facilities in Nevada is abysmal, with only 400 licensed childcare centers serving more than three million people.

Air quality in the state is also very bad, particularly in Las Vegas. The casino town faces more than three weeks of high ozone levels every year.

But it’s not all bad. Nevada’s good points include access to voting and inclusiveness

9. Tennessee — 108 out of 325 points

Tennessee did perform very well in the economic categories of the survey. That’s bringing in a lot of new residents to the Volunteer States, but they might not feel very welcome.

Inclusiveness issues in Tennessee dragged down its quality of life score. Additionally, the state struggles with a high crime rate.

But at least the air is clean and childcare services are good!

8. Indiana — 102 out of 325 points

Indiana is a great place to be if you want to avoid crime. The state got a lot of points for its low crime rate.

But don’t have a child or get sick in the Hoosier State. Indiana ranks among the worst state in the entire country when it comes to healthcare and childcare.

7. New Mexico — 101 out of 325 points

The Land of Enchantment doesn’t seem particularly enchanting, especially if you look at crime rates. New Mexico has the second highest number of violent crimes in the country (Alaska beats it).

The crime situation is so bad that state Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham thinks it’s scaring away New Mexico’s workforce. Additionally, air quality in the arid deserts is bad and there are few healthcare resources.

But New Mexico did score well on voting rights, so at least it has that going for it.

6. Louisiana — 97 out of 325 points

Louisiana was the first state on the list to score less than 100 points in everyday quality of life. It does have good health resources — and Louisianians need them.

The Pelican State is the unhealthiest state in America, with residents struggling with high cholesterol and premature death. Its violent crime rate is also toward the top in the country.

5. Missouri — 89 out of 325 points

Missouri sounds like misery, at least when it comes to voting rights. CNBC docked a lot of points from Missouri for the recent slew of controversial laws that the news outlet considers detrimental to voting rights.

Additionally, Missouri has a high crime rate. But access to childcare services is good, so there’s that.

4. South Carolina — 89 out of 325 points

You really don’t want to get sick in South Carolina. The state ranks among the worst in the survey when it comes to healthcare resources.

South Carolina has only 2.19 hospital beds for every 1,000 residents — one of the lowest numbers in the country. Add to that the problems with crime and voting, and you just might move to North Carolina, which had the overall highest score in the survey.

3. Oklahoma — 79 out of 325 points

The good people of Oklahoma are not healthy. They’re some of the least likely people in the U.S. to eat fruits or vegetables and the state has one of the highest numbers of adults without health insurance in the country.

Not that the insurance would do them much good, since healthcare resources in Oklahoma are lacking, to say the least. Oklahoma also has issues with voting and minority rights.

2. Texas — 72 out of 325 points

Texas is the second best state in America when it comes to attracting working people. But outside of their job, the workers don’t have much to look forward to.

The state struggles with very limited childcare and healthcare services, and has the highest number of uninsured adults in the country. There are also few protections against discrimination in the Lone Star State.

But Texas’ strengths are… None in the quality of life category. The state didn’t score in the top 50% on any metric.

1. Arizona — 67 out of 325 points

Well, Texas does have one strength — at least it’s not Arizona. The Grand Canyon State does have natural beauty, but that’s where the positives end.

Poor desert air quality (not to mention the heat), overstressed and lacking health services, and a sky-high crime rate are just some of the issues that make Arizona the worst state to live in America.

The state does have a good recreational and cultural life, though. Suppose Arizonans have to find some ways to forget their misery.

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