Best US states: Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware ranked in new study

We all think our state deserves to be the best - but do the stats match our hometown pride?

U.S. News & World just ranked all 50 states in its 2024 "Best State Rankings," and the Delaware Valley's rankings may surprise you.

Evaluated by crime and corrections, economy, education, health care, and more; here's how Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware fared:


The No. 40 spot goes to Pennsylvania! 

  • 16th in Crime and Corrections
  • 41st in Economy
  • 39th in Education
  • 11th in Health Care

"Pennsylvania has been one of the nation's most important industrial centers for coal, steel and railroads, especially before World War II. The state is today among the country’s largest producers of canned fruit and vegetable-specialty products, chocolate and cocoa products, potato chips and pretzels, and is home to the "Snack Food Capital of the World."

New Jersey

The Garden State earned the top ranking in the Delaware Valley at No. 14:

  • 5th in Crime and Corrections
  • 24th in Economy
  • 4th in Education
  • 4th in Health Care

"The home of native musical legends such as Bruce Springsteen, Jon Bon Jovi, Frank Sinatra and Whitney Houston, New Jersey is known for more than producing popular hit-makers. It has world-class universities, leading technology and biological science firms and one fast turnpike."


Drop a couple of spots, and you'll find Delaware at No. 21:

  • 32nd in Crime and Corrections
  • 21st in Economy
  • 33rd in Education
  • 9th in Health Care

"Known as the First State, Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution in 1787. Delaware, which hugs the Atlantic coast, runs only 96 miles long and 39 miles wide and has just three counties: New Castle, Kent and Sussex."

Top 10 Best States

  1. Utah
  2. New Hampshire
  3. Nebraska
  4. Minnesota
  5. Idaho
  6. Iowa
  7. Vermont
  8. Washington
  9. Florida
  10. Massachusetts