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Minnesota drops a place in U.S. News 'overall best state' rankings

We were second last year, now we're third.

Get out the pitchforks, people, Minnesota has dropped a place in U.S. News' "Overall Best State" rankings.

The Land of 10,000 Lakes is now considered only the THIRD best state in the country, down from last year's (still incorrect) ranking of second.

Ahead of Minnesota are the states of Washington and New Hampshire, which beat Minnesota in categories including healthcare, education and economy.

It could've been worse though. Last year Iowa ranked 1st overall, but this year finds itself in the lowly position of 14th.

U.S. News says it draws on "thousands of data points" to measure how well states are performing in several categories.

Minnesota performed best in the "opportunity" and "natural environment" categories, ranking third overall in each.

Opportunity measures levels of poverty, housing affordability, and equality for women, minorities and those with disabilities.

Natural environment meanwhile looks at air and water quality, as well as exposure to pollution and toxins.

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Minnesota didn't do so well in "fiscal stability," based upon government credit ratings, liquidity, pension fund liability and budget balancing, ranking 25th overall.

That's despite Minnesota continuing to generate budget surpluses, building up significant amounts of budget reserves, and the problem regarding the budget isn't so much about balancing it as agreeing upon it.

Gov. Tim Walz seemed pretty happy with 3rd overall, saying in a statement Tuesday: "Minnesota’s success is not by chance. Our investments in education, health care, and community prosperity make Minnesota a great place to live, work, and raise a family – but we can still do better.

"I’m committed to working together to make life even better for all Minnesotans, and continuing to invest in the things that make Minnesota one of the best states in the country."

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