New Hampshire ranked as the second-best state in the country. Massachusetts came in eighth.

The annual rankings from U.S. News and World report also list Vermont at No. 5.

A view of downtown Boston from the Evelyn Moakley Bridge.
A view of downtown Boston from the Evelyn Moakley Bridge. –Elise Amendola / AP file photo

Massachusetts is among the 10 best states in the country, according to a new ranking from U.S. News and World Report, but fell short of two neighbors to the north.

For the second year in a row, the Bay State notched the No. 8 spot on the publication’s annual rankings of best states. New Hampshire ranked No. 2, and Vermont ranked No. 5. 

“Today, the fields of education and health services employ the most people in Massachusetts,” U.S. News wrote. “Another top industry is manufacturing, especially computer and electronic products. Massachusetts’ technology sector has flourished in recent years and is among the most concentrated in the nation. With a balance of historical destinations and picturesque beaches at Cape Cod, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard, the tourism industry also is a major economic powerhouse.”


The rankings factor in various criteria, such as education and infrastructure, and each state receives a weighted score. Some factors carry more weight than others, according to the publication.

Massachusetts received top honors for education and claimed second place in health care. The Bay State was also in the top 10 for crime and corrections as well as the economy. Its lowest scores came from fiscal stability and infrastructure, with ratings of 30 and 44, respectively.

“Legislatively, Massachusetts has paved the way for other states: It led the way in universal health care coverage, with a plan enacted in 2006 that inspired former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act,” according to U.S. News. “It was also the first state to legalize gay marriage and the second to pass discrimination laws for individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, or bisexual.”

Two years ago, Massachusetts landed the top spot on the list.

New Hampshire rose from fifth place in 2018 to second this year. It received top scores for opportunity, and crime and corrections. It was also in the top 10 for education, fiscal stability, and natural environment.

At fifth place this year, Vermont’s overall rating increased from No. 9 last year. While the state didn’t receive any top marks, it did place second for crime and corrections, seventh for natural environment, eighth for education, and 10th for opportunity.