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Arizona ranks 34th overall in Best States ranking, 43rd in education

Hot air balloons rise into the morning sky beyond a saguaro cactus Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, in the desert north of Phoenix. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

PHOENIX — U.S. News and World Report’s recent release of a statistical ranking of the 50 states put Arizona at No. 34.

The report ranks states overall based on individual metrics like education, crime and government. “Thousands of data points … measure how well states are performing for their citizens,” it reads.

Among the major ranked categories listed in the report, Arizona’s lowest finish was 43rd, for education. Among rankings of more refined areas, one of Arizona’s worst finishes was the quality of its K-12 education, ranked 48th in the country.

The Grand Canyon State placed 28th in healthcare, 39th in crime and corrections, 12th in infrastructure, 33rd in opportunity, 19th in economy and 26th in government.

On a positive note, Arizona was ranked on the report as No. 7 in the country for transportation and No. 37 for college readiness among high school grads. It had one of the lowest mortality rates (9th) and smoker rates (7th) in the nation, low college graduate debt (5th) and low prison overpopulation (tied-1st).

Massachusetts finished No. 1 in the rankings, while Louisiana came in dead last.

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