The new year brings a seemingly never-ending flood of 50-state rankings. Some, assembled by pro-business interests, tend to rank Vermont near the bottom. Others, like Politico Magazine’s broad-based quality-of-life mashup, put Vermont near the top. Number 3, in the case of Politico.
Well, here comes United Van Lines with its own 50-state ranking, “which tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns.” And contrary to the standard Republican talking point — nobody wants to live here because taxes — Vermont comes in near the top. Number 3, as a matter of fact.
The United ranking is based on one single criterion: where are the moving vans headed? And in Vermont last year, there were a lot more inbound than outbound. Here’s the map.
Okay, so how do we square this with our flat population and very real demographic crisis?
We hear a lot of bad news about Vermont, especially from Republicans. They seem to be hoping Vermont will fail, based on their constant bad-mouthing. (Interesting that a plank of Phil Scott’s economic platform is more resources on marketing the state as a place to do business. If Vermont sucked as bad as the VTGOP thinks, any such marketing would be, ahem, lying.)
And then once in a while we get a ray of sunshine piercing through their doom and gloom. Today comes Politico Magazine’s third annual ranking of the 50 states (plus D.C.) in “State of the Union” terms. i.e. which states are in the best (and worst) shape overall.
And where do they rank Vermont?
Third best in the country.
It should be pointed out here that Politico isn’t exactly leftist. It is, in fact, a bastion of conventional thinking. And this ranking was based on a wide variety of factors: health, education, financial security, unemployment, crime, overall well-being, prosperity. Fourteen categories in all.
Nice little state we’ve got here, eh?