Most Americans do not choose where they grow up and often end up living in the same place as adults, either for financial reasons or because of social and familial connections. Still, many Americans choose to pack up and move to a new state — usually in search of better life.
People who contemplate such a move would certainly consider a state’s overall quality of life. While every person is different and may weigh certain factors more than others, quality of life generally consists of a multitude of factors, including an area’s economy, jobs market, income levels, poverty, crime, education levels, health care, transportation, and whether the area is generally desirable.
Based on these factors and others, 24/7 Wall St. ranked all 50 states for overall quality of life.
- 10-yr. population change: +10.1% (21st largest increase)
- Annual unemployment: 4.0% (tied — 14th lowest)
- Poverty rate: 11.0% (tied — 12th lowest)
- Life expectancy at birth: 79.1 years (25th shortest)
Problems with crime tend to be local rather than statewide, but across Virginia crime tends to be low and the state is relatively crime free compared to most of the country. There were just 217 violent crimes reported in the state for every 100,000 residents, nearly half the national figure of 397 incidents per 100,000 people.
Virginians are also among the most likely to have a college degree, which often results in higher incomes and better quality of life across a population. Just over 38% of Virginia adults have a bachelor’s degree, compared to 31.3% of adults nationwide. This high educational attainment rate may help explain Virginia’s relatively low unemployment rate. Last year, average unemployment was 4.0%, well below the national average rate of 4.9%.