Why Massachusetts is Wicked Awesome
I have to start off by saying quite simply that Massachusetts just doesn't fit in with American today. While most of America is buying guns, trying to lower taxes and criticizing Obamacare as being somehow morally unjust, Massachusetts is defending socialism and expanding access to early education. Sometimes it seems as though the Bay State has literally detached from America, floated across the Atlantic and crashed right into Norway. But despite the fact that our political climate and social culture can seem "un-American," by many measures we are actually the greatest state in the union.
Strongest Education System
Massachusetts certainly cares about it's children. Year after year we are ranked as the best state for public education. Reading and math proficiency scores for students routinely top every other state in the country. Our high school graduation rates are among the highest in the country. While most other states have fallen behind other developed countries, Massachusetts residents have comparable test scores to some of the top performing countries.
Massachusetts also happens to lead the country when it comes to residents with Bachelors and advanced degrees. 38% of residents 25 and older have at least a Bachelor's degree, and over 16% have a Master's degree as well. Not to mention the fact that we are home to some of the world's top universities such as Harvard and MIT.
This category really encompasses a variety of things that the Bay State does well. First and foremost, we are one of the healthiest states in the nation and we rank fifth overall in life expectancy. Massachusetts residents can be expected to live 80.5 years from birth. We also have among the lowest teen pregnancy and suicide rates of any state in the country.
Moving into the insurance market, we have the lowest proportion of residents without insurance, at around 5%. Massachusetts was the first state to mandate universal healthcare, and so far the program has been a huge success.
There are a variety of ways to measure economic success, but according to almost any measure, Massachusetts is doing great. Most directly, we have the fifth highest median income of any state, at $62,000. We happen to be among the lowest states for crime.
This final map is of the Human Development Index for the United States. It combines health, education and income together into one graph. When viewed holistically, Massachusetts comes in as number two in the country.
Despite our bad weather and atypical political climate, if you are from Massachusetts, you should be proud.