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Here is the definitive list of the best states to live in

Spoiler alert....the Coyote State reigns supreme

Last week, we told you about where to move if you wanted lower taxes. In that list, Wyoming, Alaska and South Dakota ranked 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively in the lowest amount of state and local taxes per capita.

But CreditDonkey.com’s newly released list of the best states for kids gave us an idea. What’s literally the best state to live in? Which state’s residents pay the least in taxes, make the most money, have the lowest levels of unemployment and are good for kids too?

And by our impenetrable scientific methodology, here’s our top 10 list of the best states to live in:

1. South Dakota

How’d we come up with South Dakota? Here’s how.

We used the TaxFoundation.org list of state and local tax burdens, which measures the amount of state and local taxes paid as a percentage of total income. That list also includes the total amount paid in state and local taxes per capita. Because we’re sure that you want to pay as little in taxes as possible, right?

We also included average income, because you can’t really live without money after all. And you want to have as much money as you can, right?

And since we don’t all have family money to fall back on, you probably need to work to make that money, so we included the unemployment rates for January and February.

And because children are our future, we gave special consideration to the top 10 on CreditDonkey’s best states for kids list. That list ranks all 50 states by average child care costs, high school graduation rates and the presence of kid-friendly neighborhood amenities, like parks, recreation center, sidewalks and libraries.

We ranked each state lowest to highest in all of those categories, with the exception of income, because more money is better than less money. Next we added up all of the rankings. The lower the total means the better the state is.

For example, South Dakota ranks 3rd in percent of income paid in state and local taxes, 7th in average amount paid in state and local taxes, 18th in average income, 3rd in January unemployment, 3rd in February unemployment, and as an added bonus, it ranks 5th on the best states for kids. So that’s a total of 34 points, which ranks it number 1.

Click through for the rest of our top 10.

2. Wyoming

Wyoming ranks 1st in percent of income paid in state and local taxes, but 22nd in average amount paid in state and local taxes, 6th in average income, 7th in January unemployment, 6th in February unemployment, but doesn’t make CreditDonkey’s top 10. It’s total of 42 points ranks just behind South Dakota’s 34.

skyline

3. Louisiana

Louisiana comes in 3rd on our list. It ranks 6th in percent of income paid in state and local taxes, 4th in average amount paid in state and local taxes, 31st in average income, 11th in January unemployment, 8th in February unemployment, but also doesn’t make CreditDonkey’s top 10. It has a total of 60 points in our ranking system.

4. North Dakota

North Dakota ranks 15th in percent of income paid in state and local taxes, 33rd in average amount paid in state and local taxes, 12th in average income, but 1st in January and February unemployment, and it ranks 4th on the best states for kids. It has a total of 62 points in our ranking system.

5. New Hampshire

New Hampshire ranks 7th in percent of income paid in state and local taxes, 28th in average amount paid in state and local taxes, 9th in average income, 12th in January unemployment, 10th in February unemployment, but also doesn’t make CreditDonkey’s top 10. It has a total of 66 points in our ranking system.

Texas sign

6. Texas

Texas comes at 6th on our list. It ranks 4th in percent of income paid in state and local taxes, 8th in average amount paid in state and local taxes, 23rd in average income, 17th in January and February unemployment, and it ranks 9th on the best states for kids. It has a total of 69 points in our ranking system.

Click next to see the rest of the top 10.

7. Nebraska

Nebraska ranks 7th on our list. It ranks 23rd in percent of income paid in state and local taxes, 32nd in average amount paid in state and local taxes, 19th in average income, but 2nd in January and February unemployment, and it comes in 1st on the best places for kids list. It has a total of 78 points on our ranking system.

OklahomaCityPhoto.jpg

8. Oklahoma

Oklahoma ranks 8th on our list. It ranks 12th in percent of income paid in state and local taxes, 12th in average amount paid in state and local taxes, 34th in average income, 12th in January unemployment, 10th in February unemployment, but also doesn’t make CreditDonkey’s top 10. It has a total of 86 points in our ranking system.

Skitown2

9. Alaska

Alaska ranks 9th on our list. It ranks 2nd in percent of income paid in state and local taxes, 18th in average amount paid in state and local taxes, 8th in average income, 28th in January unemployment, 32nd in February unemployment, but also doesn’t make CreditDonkey’s top 10. It has a total of 88 points in our ranking system.

10. Iowa

And Iowa rounds out the top 10 on our list. It ranks 22nd in percent of income paid in state and local taxes, 27th in average amount paid in state and local taxes, 27th in average income, 6th in January unemployment, 7th in February unemployment, and it comes in 2nd on the best places for kids list. It has a total of 89 points on our ranking system.

Montana just misses the top 10 with 90 points. 

Click next to see the rest of the list from 11-50.

Here are the rest of the states from 11-50:

11. Montana

12. Virginia

13. Utah

14. Hawaii

15. Kansas

16. South Carolina

17. Colorado

18. Vermont

19. Alabama

20. Idaho

21. Missouri

22. Tennessee

23. Minnesota

24. Florida

25. New Mexico

26. Maryland

27. West Virginia

28. Washington

29. Delaware

30. Indiana

31. Maine

32. Nevada

33. Mississippi

34. Georgia

35. Massachusetts

36. Pennsylvania

37. Ohio

38. Arizona

39. North Carolina

40. Wisconsin

41. Oregon

42. New York

43. Connecticut

44. Kentucky

45. New Jersey

46. Michigan

47. Illinois

48. Arkansas

49. California

50. Rhode Island

So if you live in Rhode Island, California or Arkansas, it might be time to check out homes for sale in South Dakota, Wyoming and Louisiana. We hear Sioux Falls is lovely this time of year.

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