In a society that treasures lists, there are thousands of “best this” and “worst that” lists that, once released, become indelible in the public eye. And those lists can ultimately paint a company, an industry, a person and even a state like Maine in warm, welcoming colors or in bleak tones. 

And the survey says …

People per household, 2011

Sales tax burden, 1 ranked as lowest

Quality of life ranking

Cat lovers

Infrastructure ranking

Most peaceful states

Home ownership

High school graduates

8th grade reading scores

Fewest police officers per capita

Lowest crime rate

Low birth weight

Worst state to be a taxpayer, 2014

Return on taxes paid to federal government

Least trusting of state government

Risk for corruption

Best high schools, 2014

Most respect for teachers

Healthy eating

People with disabilities, ages 21-64

Least job creation

Able-body employed, ages 21-64

Where not to die in 2014

Residents without insurance, 2010-2012

Share of road spending paid by tolls, fees and taxes, 2010

State cigarette tax, 2013

State and local cell phone tax rate, 2012

Average temperature 1981-2010

Doctors per 1,000 population

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