US News and World Report developed the rankings using more than 60 metrics and more heavily weighted those based upon what mattered more to people, with education and healthcare weighted most heavily.
Why did they rank the states? "Now, in the first objective, authoritative measure taken of all the states across a comprehensive range of critical issues, U.S. News and World Report is telling a revealing new story about which ones are performing best for their citizens."
While we were ranked #3 in the nation overall for education, higher education tuition and fees were ranked at #50 and #48 for student debt. We did much better in the pre K to 12 rankings where we were rated overall at number 1.
For a more detailed review of the education rankings and why some states, NH included, were ranked so high is this article . "On the whole, however, states with consistent K-12 policies and those with healthy funding streams for education come out on top for Best States."
The website has a robust Data Explorer with more than 100,000 charts to explore whatever metrics you are most interested in.
Click on "Location"and check New Hampshire, and all the graphs will highlight New Hampshire.
What may be most useful is knowing where to focus our legislative attention. We are clearly doing quite well in terms of education and access to Health care ( at least for the moment) and many other areas. We are not doing so well in numerous metrics within some categories, such as 38th highest suicide rate, the change in incarceration rate was dead last at 50th and 48th in equality in juvenile incarceration. Overall 33rd in transportation which would have been much worse had our roads not been rated at # 3. We were 28th in energy and 45th in electricity prices and 43rd in cost of living.
You get the idea. As you pick at the data, the areas of need become clearer.
It begs the question of why Concord is targeting the things that where we are already doing quite well, such as education and access to healthcare, but some there are doing their best to dismantle both.