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May 14, 2019

Report: CT 21st best state in U.S.; top in corporate density

connecticut HBJ File Photo The Hartford skyline.

Connecticut continues to climb the list of top states in the country, according to a report by the U.S. News & World Report.

The 2019 Best States Ranking released Tuesday by the media company said Connecticut moved up three spots to No. 21 in the U.S., ranking fourth among New England states and trailing New Hampshire (No. 2), Vermont (No. 5) and Massachusetts (No. 8). Rhode Island and Maine ranked No. 26 and No. 32, respectively.

Nationally, Washington ranked as the nation’s best state with the top five rounded out by Minnesota (No. 3) and Utah (No 4.).

Connecticut’s improved aggregate score was helped by its No. 1 ranking in the subcategory of top company headquarters, meaning the state has more Fortune 1000 companies on a per capita basis than any other state.

Connecticut also ranked highly in the areas of health care (No. 3), environment (No. 6), criminal justice (No. 7) and education (No. 12). The state’s economy also jumped from No. 43 last year to No. 30 in Tuesday’s report.

Still, those high rankings were offset by several issues plaguing the state, including infrastructure and fiscal stability, which both ranked No. 46 in the U.S. 

Finding solutions to those problems have dominated debates at the state Capitol this legislative session. Democrats are advocating for legislation that would implement a highway tolling system to pay for improvements to the state’s aging highway infrastructure while Republican leaders have proposed a “Prioritize Progress” solution, which would avoid tolls and pay for infrastructure repairs through state borrowing.

Gov. Ned Lamont, who now supports tolling both passenger vehicles and tractor-trailer trucks, on Tuesday said the report again puts into focus areas where the state must improve.

“...if we want to improve -- if we want to grow jobs, grow our economy, and get our state on a path of success -- we need to fix our transportation system and create more stability in our finances,” the governor said in a statement. “This should be a wake-up call to every elected official -- this data is staring us in the face. Let’s do something about it now – we were elected to take action.”

According to the report, Connecticut was also ranked No. 1 in low juvenile incarceration and No. 33 in opportunity. 

The state’s gross domestic product (GDP), or the market value of goods and services produced by labor and property in a state, is worth $264.5 billion and the median income is about $42,000.

View the recap of Connecticut’s ranking here and a complete list of the best states here.

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