The condition of infrastructure is key to evaluating the quality of life for any state’s citizens. In ranking the Best States for infrastructure, use of renewable energy and the quality of roads and bridges were major considerations. While the U.S. is among the top nations for education, entrepreneurship and quality of life, it lags behind in infrastructure, earning a D+ in the American Society of Civil Engineers 2013 report card. President Donald Trump has vowed to invest $1 trillion to rebuild U.S. roads, bridges, ports and other public works. But the shortage of skilled construction workers left from the 2007 to 2009 recession has driven up the costs of projects, and limited state budgets pose a challenge for infrastructure.
Pacific Northwestern states Oregon and Washington stand out as the top two in infrastructure, respectively, with some of the best transportation, energy and internet access in the country. The top 10 also is dominated by Western and Midwestern states – Utah, Nevada, Colorado, North and South Dakota, Minnesota and Illinois, with Nebraska as the only all-Plains state to make the top 10 in infrastructure. Nearly half of these states also stand among the top 10 overall in the Best States rankings.
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