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What Every State in America Is Best—and Worst—At

From having the most dog-friendly cities to dealing with the highest obesity rates, here are the best—and worst—qualities of each of the 50 states.

Scenic view of Honolulu city, Diamond Head and Waikiki Beach at night; Hawaii, USASergiyN/Shutterstock


Best: Beaches — Among the 33 miles of swimming beaches surrounding the islands of Hawaii, you'll find Maui's Kapalua Bay Beach, voted the best beach in America (with Hapuna Beach making it into the top ten, as well!).

Worst: Sleeping — Hawaiian adults must be spending all their time on the beach instead of in bed, though—43.9 percent of Hawaiian adults get less than seven hours of sleep per night on average.

Macro Shot of Conceptual House Keys on Top of Wooden TableJL-Pfeifer/Shutterstock


Best: Homeownership — Home is where the heart is. And your heart will definitely want to be in Idaho when you realize it was recently ranked the number one state for home ownership thanks to its affordability and low foreclosure rates.

Worst: Cyberbullying — The only downside? The state was also voted the worst for bullying, particularly for kids online and on social media. Don't miss the U.S. trivia your teacher never taught you.



Best: Pumpkins — All those pumpkin-flavored treats you love in the fall wouldn't be possible if it weren't for Illinois, where 95 percent of everyone favorite gourds in the United States are grown.

Worst: Bug bites — Just make sure you spray a lot of insect repellant on before you head out to the pumpkin patch. The Midwestern state has some of the highest rates of mosquito-related illnesses (including West Nile virus) and tick-borne diseases like Lyme's.

Red and white For Rent Sign taped to inside of window. Horizontal.vincent noel/Shutterstock


Best: Renting — Why buy when you can rent? In Indianapolis, that question makes perfect sense. The city was deemed the best for renters last year, with high affordability and one of the lowest average monthly rents of just $806.

Worst: Pollution — As long as you don't breathe too deeply in your new place, you'll be fine. After all, the 40 million pounds of toxic fumes generated by Indiana's coal plants make it the most polluted of the 50 states.

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Best: Buying a house —Homebuyers may want to add Iowa to their list of possible locations—the state offers the most affordable housing in the country, with a median home price of $181,900.

Worst: Building bridges — Just be careful when you're driving to go look at houses in Des Moines. Iowa was ranked the worst state for its bridges, 5,000 of which have been deemed "structurally deficient" by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association.

Paved road with colorful trees on both sides in the southern part of Oklahoma in autumn.RaksyBH/Shutterstock


Best: Roads — Drivers, this state is for you. Kansas has the least amount of poor roadways in the nation. According to USA TODAY, less than 1 percent of roads in the Sunflower State are considered unserviceable.

Worst: Human trafficking — The Midwestern state isn't all smooth sailing, though. It's also the state where human sex trafficking has skyrocketed to new levels in recent years.

Fried chicken is fried chicken in oil.KIRATIYA KUMKAEW/Shutterstock


Best: Fried chicken — It's called Kentucky Fried Chicken for a reason. Ever since Colonel Sanders (yes, he was a real person) started selling his fried chicken at a roadside restaurant more than 75 years ago, Kentucky has been the go-to spot for crispy golden chicken.

Worst: Lung cancer rates — Its residents may not be enjoying it for as long as they'd like, though. The state has the highest rate of lung cancer diagnoses, a disease that has only a 56 percent five-year chance of survival. Find out the best state fair or festival in each state.

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Best: Dating — The people of Louisiana are (mostly) single and ready to mingle—the state has the highest number of unmarried adults.

Worst: Stress — To be honest, that probably explains why Louisianians are also the most stressed in the country (dating is hard!). Not to mention the high levels of poverty, crime, and the number of hours worked per week... phew.

Beagle puppy playing at home on a hardwood floor. Place for textSergey Maksienko/Shutterstock

Maine: Best at owning dogs, worst at Lyme's disease

Best: Owning dogs —Fido will feel right at home in Maine, whether he's an energetic pit bull or a lovable golden retriever. That's because Maine welcomes all dog breeds (there are no restrictions) and has 76 dog-friendly beaches, making it the best place for pups in the United States.

Worst: Lyme's disease — But dogs bring more than just cuddles and companionship. They can also carry ticks in from the outdoors, which could be why Maine has the highest rate of Lyme's disease. Find out the most popular dog breed in every state.

Close up of man taking cash from ATM with credit card.nenetus/Shutterstock


Best: Making millionaires — Want to be a millionaire? Your best chance at making that happen might be in Maryland, the state with the highest rate of seven-figure salaries. One study found that as many as 1 in 12 households have $1 million.

Worst: Bed bugs — With all that money, wealthy Marylanders might be sleeping tight, but they probably are letting the bed bugs bite, too. For the second year in a row, Baltimore topped the list of cities with the most bed bug infestations.

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