HSJ and The Quality of Life Institute have collaborated on a study to rank the states of the Big 12 in all elements related to quality of life. The Big 12 is unusual in that it encompasses some of the best and worst states in the country. This tool is especially helpful for high school students and athletes in helping them choose a college destination.
1. Texas – Home to the Baylor Bears, Texas Longhorns, Texas A&M Aggies, and Texas Tech Red Raiders
National Rank – 1
Texas is not only the best state in the Big 12, but it’s the best state in the country. The quality of life in Texas is better, overall, than in any other state in the country. Although Lubbock is the worst city in the state, the state of Texas as a whole still manages to score well in almost every category.
2. Colorado – Home to the Colorado Buffaloes
National Rank – 7
Colorado is a great place to visit. In fact, a lot of Texans like to go up there and show off their skiing prowess and buy time share condos. Colorado has a lot to offer and is one of the best states in the union.
3. Kansas – Home to the Kansas Jayhawks and Kansas State Wildcats
National Rank – 19
Kansas is non-threatening. Since Capote’s masterpiece, not much has happened there. If you want to just relax on a porch with an ugly dog and drink iced tea and collect benefits of some sort, Kansas is a great place.
4. Missouri – Home to the Missouri Tigers
National Rank – 27
Missouri is a lot like Kansas, but it has metropolitan areas like St. Louis and Kansas City. Since Missouri stole Kansas City from Kansas, things are a lot better in Missouri and it’s a fine place to live, although the barbecue in Kansas is a lot better.
5. Iowa – Home of the Iowa State Cyclones
National Rank – 32
Iowa is a lot like Kansas, but just colder and there’s even less to do. Iowa is a mediocre state that has no real positives, but it just isn’t bad enough to hate. If you’ve been to Iowa, you’ve been there. You probably didn’t like it or hate it.
6. Nebraska – Home of the Nebraska Cornhuskers
National Rank – 43
Now we’re getting into the bottom tier of states. Nebraska is a horrible place to live. You could parachute into Nebraska and land in a field 55 miles away from the nearest human being. This explains some of the antisocial behavior in Nebraska. Stay away from Nebraska if you can.
7. Oklahoma – Home of the Oklahoma Sooners and Oklahoma State Cowboys
National Rank – 48
Only Pennsylvania and Alabama have worse qualities of life than Oklahoma. Oklahoma, however, is a state on the move. As the population of north Texas continues to explode, a lot of the recreational areas in southern Oklahoma will be used by Texans as a sort of dumping ground. Look for Oklahoma to move up a few spaces next year.