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Minnesota ranks high in measurements of well-being

How does Minnesota compare to the nation in terms of measuring well-being?

Not too shabby according to the Measure of America of the Social Science Research Council.

Minnesota ranks in the top tier of states in a measurement of well-being looking at health, income and education.

■ School enrollment of 79.2 percent.

■ Life expectancy at birth of 81.1 years.

■ Median earnings $30,939.

As far as the education, 10.3 percent of state residents have a graduate degree, 21.5 percent have a bachelor’s degree, 60 percent have a high school degree and 8.2 percent have less than a high school degree.

The top 11 states with the highest scores for human development looking at education, life expectancy and incomes were: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, District of Columbia, Maryland, New Hampshire, Minnesota, New York, Colorado, Hawaii, and Virginia.

An interactive map is available at

The worst state in the nation on the human development index measuring well-being was Mississippi.

The Pew Research Center writer Drew DeSilver notes Americans love to compare themselves with each other. Adapted from the United Nations Development Program‘s Human Development Index, the American index “uses four indicators to summarize three overarching goals: leading a long and healthy life (measured by life expectancy at birth), having access to knowledge (measured by school enrollment and adults’ educational attainment) and having a decent material standard of living (measured by median wage and salary earnings),” the Pew Research Center reported.

Connecticut has the highest overall index number in the nation. The tiny eastern state ranked third on the health and education indices and fourth on the income index. Mississippi ranked at the bottom of the health index and 48th on the education and income indices.

The interactive map on Measure of America’s site provides a glance at how the states rank on dozens of other indicators, from population older than age 65 to carbon dioxide emissions and allows for sorting, comparing to previous years and downloading of datasets.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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