Minnesota slips down Politico's 'strongest state' rankings...to No. 2


Minnesota is no longer the strongest state in the country, Politico says, and instead has to settle for lowly 2nd place.

Ahead of President Obama's last State of the Union address Tuesday night, the website released its own "State of the Union" table which ranks each state in the country.

Last year Minnesota was tied with New Hampshire for first place, but this year it's slipped behind its East Coast rival into second.

The rankings are compiled based on 14 categories from various sources, including the U.S. Census Bureau, FBI and Centers for Disease Control, which look at aspects such as average income, unemployment rate, obesity and violent crime.

And Minnesota performed pretty well in most categories compared to other states, including having the second-highest home ownership rate and the joint second highest 8th grade math scores.

Minnesota is well ahead of other Midwest states, though Wisconsin was one of the better performing states compared to last year as it rose from 17th to 11th.

Here's how Minnesota's neighbors ranked:

8th: Iowa (last year 7th)

11th: Wisconsin (last year 17th)

16th: South Dakota (last year 21st)

20th: North Dakota (last year 15th).

One area in which Minnesota notably performed poorly is "income inequality," something that has been a highly publicized issue in recent months, with Census Bureau figures in September showing the gap between black and white Minnesotans widened significantly in 2014.

After New Hampshire and Minnesota, the top 5 in Politico's ranking was rounded out by Vermont, Utah and Colorado. Louisiana was in last place.

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