California has the worst quality of life, US News study says

(KGTV) - So much for "west coast is the best coast." Apparently, that state of mind won't help Californians enjoy the best quality of life in the U.S.

Despite our pristine beaches, famous cities, and awesome nickname (The Golden State really is a great one), Californians reportedly enjoy one of the lowest qualities of life, according to U.S. News and World Report's annual "Best States" rankings.

The study ranks states on a variety of metrics, including quality of life, opportunities for residents, education, healthcare, economy, infrastructure, crime and corrections, and fiscal stability.

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Ok, it's starting to make a little sense. Metrics are weighted based on what more than 30,000 participants indicated as the most important aspects of livelihood. Healthcare and education were the heaviest scores, followed by economy, opportunity, and infrastructure.

Overall, the Golden State came in at 32, though scored last in quality of life and near last in opportunity and fiscal stability.

"In addition to a healthy environment, a person's quality of life is largely a result of their interactions with those around them," U.S. News wrote. "Studies show that when people feel socially supported, they experience greater happiness, as well as physical and mental health."

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So what contributed to California's horribly low quality of life score? The state ranked 44 for natural environment and 47 for social environment.

Natural environment measured drinking water quality, pollution and industrial toxins, and air quality. While drinking water quality was ranked 13, pollution health risks and urban air quality were among the worst states.

Social environment looked at community engagement, social support, and voter participation. In this instance, California was toward the end of the line for each metric.

To read U.S. News' entire report, click here.

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