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Maryland Moves Up in Best State Ranking, From 13th to 6th

Maryland is again among the top states in the nation, according to a new ranking by U.S. News & World Report.

The state now ranks sixth overall in the magazine’s mash-up of various factors, up nicely from a year ago, when it came in 13th.

Maryland’s high ranking was boosted by its standing as a place where people find “opportunity” (fifth best in the nation) and for its health care, where the state was judged to be eighth best.

U.S. News placed Maryland 13th in education, 15th in fiscal stability, 21st in infrastructure, 22nd in crime and corrections, 25th in natural environment and 26th in economy.

U.S. News editors said they considered more than 70 metrics in determining their rankings.

“More weight was accorded to some state measures than others, based on a survey of what matters most to people,” they wrote. “Health care and education were weighted most heavily.

“Then came state economies, infrastructure, and the opportunity states offer their citizens. Fiscal stability followed closely in weighting, followed by measures of crime & corrections and a state’s natural environment.”

In a statement, Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan (R) said the state is making “real progress.”

“Marylanders have pulled together over the last four years to unshackle our state’s great potential,” he said. “We have made real progress on making this the best place to live, work, and raise a family.

“There is more to do, but we truly are changing Maryland for the better!”

Hogan has acknowledged that he is eager to pass Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker as the nation’s most popular. (Baker, another blue-state Republican, consistently ranks first, just one spot ahead of Hogan.)

Until that happens, Hogan can take pleasure in the fact that Massachusetts is eighth in the U.S. News rankings, despite being No. 1 in education and No. 2 in health care.

As for Maryland’s neighbors, Virginia ranked 7th, Delaware 23rd and Pennsylvania 41st. The District of Columbia, home to 670,000 people (and U.S. News & World Report’s editorial and production teams) was not included.

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Maryland Moves Up in Best State Ranking, From 13th to 6th