SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah has been named the third best state in the nation by US News & World Report.

US News & World Report released the latest rankings for states based on health care, education, economy, infrastructure, opportunity, fiscal stability, crime and corrections, and natural environment.

“The Best States ranking of U.S. states draws on thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their citizens. In addition to health care and education, the metrics take into account a state’s economy, its roads, bridges, internet and other infrastructure, its public safety, the fiscal stability of state government, and the opportunity it affords its residents,” US News explains.

According to the rankings, Utah edged out Colorado for best economy. Here is where Utah ranked among the other categories:

  • Health care: 11th behind Colorado
  • Education: 10th behind Nebraska
  • Infrastructure: 5th behind North Dakota
  • Opportunity: 30th behind Maine
  • Fiscal stability: 5th behind Idaho
  • Crime & Corrections: 8th behind Rhode Island
  • Natural Environment: 47th behind Alaska

Overall, Utah was ranked the third-best state in the nation based on the above criteria. Washington was ranked the top state with Minnesota taking the second spot. The lowest ranked state was Louisiana.

The Office of the Governor released a statement from Governor Spencer Cox, which reads:

“These rankings confirm what Utahns have known for years: Utah is the best state in the nation for economic opportunity, for education and for quality of life. I’m extremely proud of this recognition and look forward to an even more prosperous 2021 for all Utahns.”

Recently, the Provo-Orem area was ranked the best performing large city based “on the strength of job, wage, and high-tech GDP growth” by the Milken Institute.

Salt Lake City ranked fourth while Ogden came in ninth in the latest rankings. Between Provo and Ogden were Palm Bay, Fla.; Austin, Texas; Salt Lake City; Raleigh, N.C.; Boise, Ida; Phoenix; and Nashville, Tenn.

According to preliminary U.S. Census Bureau data, Utah is the fastest-growing state in terms of population over the last decade.