U.S. News Names Washington the Nation’s Best State
U.S. News recently completed their ranking of the Best States in the nation and our very own Evergreen State topped this year’s list! Washington’s impressive performance may be attributed to the State’s strong economy, coming in at third, second-ranked infrastructure, and health care and education, which both came in at fourth on the list.
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We’d be hard-pressed to find a person that doesn’t believe Washington State possesses a strong economy, with a strong tech sector, the export of apples and other produce, and Boeing’s aircrafts. But as U.S. News notes, “cheap, climate-friendly electricity” is another large economic driver—with Washington boasting some of the lowest electricity rates in the country and a feasible goal to go coal-free in just six years.
As Governor Jay Inslee tells U.S. News World & Report, “Washington State is an example of how climate action and a strong economy go hand in hand. Renewable energy projects create significant new revenues for rural communities where most of these projects are sited. New wind development projects in Washington generate millions of dollars in annual lease payments; much of it goes to small rural landowners.”
Cleaner energy is a priority for many tech businesses, which has drawn thousands of young, well-educated workers to the greater Seattle area. Though older companies such as Starbucks, Costco, T-Mobile and Boeing still serve as large employers, they’ve been eclipsed by Amazon. In 2018, Washington’s gross domestic product growth rate of 5.7 percent was the highest in the U.S. and is largely due to the thriving tech sector.
U.S. News reports that venture capital is flowing into the state, with Washington now ranking “No. 3 in patents granted per capita thanks to inventors at Microsoft, Boeing and Amazon.” They cite the University of Washington as an important educational institution and economic driver, adding that the Washington “is also poised to lead in the development of electric grid modernization technologies.”
Though there was much praise for Washington on the U.S. News rankings, there were a few pain points that experts say need to be addressed, such as transportation challenges with ever-increasing commute times, the difficulty in converting high school graduates into college students, and housing affordability. Overall, however, the Evergreen State seems to have turned gold, as it has transformed into our nation’s Best State for 2019.
Homes.com recently broke down the nation’s top cities in a variety of categories and given the above, it comes as no surprise that Seattle ranks tenth in the nation for millennials (based upon median home prices, the entry-level job market and share of population) and eighth for Generation X (based upon school quality, the senior-level job market and share of population).
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