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Is Your State a ... Weakling?

Politico Magazine has tallied the numbers, and the Oscar for best state goes to ... New Hampshire.


Actually, the magazine's ranking is pegged to a different winter event: the president's annual State of the Union address.

Here's what Politico's Margaret Slattery has to say:

Tuesday, President Obama, if precedent holds, will declare that the state of America's union is "strong." Is it? One way to judge is by the state of the states of the union: How strong are they, and, dare we ask, which is the strongest?

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Journalist H.L. Mencken came up with a similar list in 1931, and many of the lowest-ranking states back then are still at the bottom, with Mississippi still dead last. New Hampshire is first on Politico's top 10 list, followed by Minnesota, Vermont, Utah, Massachusetts (Mencken's top pick, along with Connecticut), Wyoming, Colorado, Iowa, Washington state and Connecticut. also ranks the "Best States for Retirement," with Idaho at the top of its list. While Politico looked at high school graduation rates, per capita income, life expectancy and crime rates, among other things, for its rankings, looked at senior population, climate, cost of living, life expectancy at age 65, crime and economic factors such as taxes. Four states - Minnesota, Vermont, Utah and Iowa - finished in the top 10 in both studies.

Mississippi managed to stay out of last place on the list, but just by a hair. It finished in a tie with Nevada for second-to-last place, with Louisiana in the basement.

Illustration: Jezperklauzen/iStockphoto

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