The winters are cold, summers are hot, the 'T' is often crossed and the traffic is often dense, but somehow, Massachusetts somehow came out on top of U.S. News' list of the 'Best' states based on more than 60 metrics. Two of those metrics, education and health care, are a big reason why.

The Best States ranking of U.S. states draws on thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their citizens. In addition to health care and education, the metrics take into account a state’s economy, the opportunity it offers people, its roads, bridges, internet and other infrastructure, its public safety and the integrity and health of state government.

More weight was accorded to some state measures than others, based on a survey of what matters most to people. Health care and education were weighted most heavily. Then came the opportunity states offer their citizens, their crime & corrections and infrastructure. State economies followed closely in weighting, followed by measures of government administration. This explains why Massachusetts, ranking No. 1 in education and No. 2 in health care, occupies the overall No. 1 spot in the Best States rankings. And it explains why New Hampshire, ranking No. 1 in opportunity for its citizens, ranks No. 2 overall in the Best States rankings.

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