In annual rankings, CNBC says Arizona is worst state to live in 2022

Jul 16, 2022, 6:30 AM
Visitors enjoy the scenery at Grand Canyon National Park. (National Park Service Photo/M. Quinn)...
Visitors enjoy the scenery at Grand Canyon National Park. (National Park Service Photo/M. Quinn)
(National Park Service Photo/M. Quinn)

PHOENIX – CNBC released its annual rankings of best and worst states to live in 2022 — and Arizonans who love their home might disagree with the outcome.

For the second consecutive year, the business news outlet rated Arizona as the No. 1 worst state to live.

Meanwhile, Vermont got the nod as the best state in rankings that were published Thursday.

CNBC placed Arizona at No. 34 in its 2022 list of top states for business, which is based on 88 metrics in 10 categories of competitiveness.

The best and worst states to live lists were compiled from the business rankings’ life, health and inclusion categories, including metrics such as crime rates, environmental quality, health care and availability of child care.

“We also consider inclusiveness of state laws in areas like protections against discrimination and voting rights. That’s not politics, it’s business,” writes CNBC special correspondent Scott Cohn.

“Many Gen Z and millennial workers will turn down jobs that don’t match their values, Deloitte found. If you need workers, you want to be in a place they are willing to go to.”

Arizona didn’t place in the top 50% for any of the life, health and inclusion metrics. The state fared particularly poorly in air quality, health resources, inclusiveness and crime.

While CNBC doesn’t think Arizona is a good place to live, that hasn’t kept it from being one of the nation’s fastest-growing states. The Grand Canyon State had a nation-leading five entries in the top 11 of the U.S. Census Bureau’s list of fastest-growing cities over the last year. And it was No. 3 in numeric population growth.

Business like Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company and Virgin Galactic might disagree with CNBC, investing billions of dollars in new Arizona facilities.

Arizona was followed by No. 2 Texas, No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 4 South Carolina and No. 5 Missouri on the worst states to live list.

On the other side, Vermont was joined by No. 2 Maine, No. 3 Hawaii, No. 4 North Dakota and No. 5 Minnesota as the top-ranked states.

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In annual rankings, CNBC says Arizona is worst state to live in 2022