Vital Signs

The Worst State

Things are pretty dismal all over the country, but some places are worse than others.

Usually, published rankings of American states are compiled by liberals who value such things as high-school and college graduation rates, personal income, internet speed, and the availability of abortion clinics.  That’s why Massachusetts and Minnesota commonly come out on top.  Some lists, including those by conservatives, reflect only economic matters, such as the ALEC-Laffer Rich States, Poor States annual rankings.

But Chronicles readers look deeper.  They know that, if you’re in a foxhole and the mortar rounds are incoming, it doesn’t help to be told you’re at a pool party.  (Conservatives who crave Pollyannaism can read National Review.)  Hence, this assessment grades each state, plus the District of Columbia, on 11 key factors (which I describe in detail below) that mean something to authentic conservatives.  Their average will give us the Worst State.

Here’s a rundown of each of the 11 categories, noting the worst states for each.

Abortion rate: Sane people prefer not to live near folks who routinely shred their infants.  The U.S. average is 19.6 per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44.  Worst States: Delaware, 40; New York, 37.6; New Jersey, 31.3; District of Columbia, 29.9; Maryland, 29.9;...

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