How does Texas measure up to the rest of the U.S.? An annual study comparing the 50 U.S. states in terms of healthcare, education, the economy, and numerous other factors shows that we aren't the worst state in the country — but we're certainly not the best.
Texas ranks 38th overall in U.S. News & World Report's best states rankings for 2019, down two spots from 2018. Washington takes the top spot, while Louisiana has the misfortune of being in last place.
For the study, U.S. News asked Americans "how satisfied they were with various state government services and where they thought their state governments should focus resources." The site took those results and rated each state on the areas above, as well as infrastructure, opportunity, fiscal stability, crime and corrections, and natural environment. The most weight was given to healthcare, followed by education.
The Lone Star State, which is home to many notable companies (AT&T, Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods Market, Dell, and others), ranks best in fiscal stability (No. 12) and economy (No. 15).
America's oil boom in the early 1900s transformed Texas, and the state continues to be a key player in the industry, as well as a leading destination for business, the study explains.
"Texas’ diverse industrial base has drawn many businesses and workers in recent decades because of light regulation, low taxes and a low cost of labor," U.S. News says. "Entrepreneurs are particularly attracted to Austin, which emerged as a major player in the technology industry in the 1990s. Its 'South by Southwest' is one of the preeminent national tech conferences."
What else is working in Texas? "Traditionally, agriculture has been among the state’s largest industries, and it produces the most livestock and livestock product in the country," the study adds. "The state also is a leader in export revenues, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Other industries driving growth include business, education and health, hospitality and manufacturing."
Texas, however, could stand to improve in many areas: infrastructure (33), crime and corrections (33), education (34), healthcare (37), opportunity (39), and natural environment (40).