I have argued for a long time that we need to completely disregard rankings of places and things. A new ranking that puts Wyoming among the worst states in America is even more proof of that theory.

This one stings a little more than most since it comes from US News and World Report. I normally respect them for real "news". It's their 2021 version of Overall Best States Rankings. I would recommend you check out the full list, but I'll save you a little scrolling time. Wyoming is all the way down in the #35 slot. Really?

US News & World Report Infographic
US News & World Report Infographic

Where do I start? Wyoming is ranked below Rhode Island and Florida. Think about that for a second. Florida where wacky news happens every hour of every day.

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If you look at the metrics that US News and World Report uses, it makes sense on the surface. Health care, education, economy, infrastructure, opportunity, fiscal stability, crime and nature should play a role in how places are viewed. But, arbitrary numbers are slammed in each of those categories with little explanation of why. As with many "rankings", I'm guessing it's someone who has never even been to Wyoming ranking us where they think we deserve to be ranked.

In fairness, our lowest rankings come in fiscal stability and opportunity and that's likely true due to how hard our energy industry has been hit over the past couple years. But, they rank us as #13 in outdoors and nature? Give me a break.

It's disappointing, but not unexpected that we got slammed by a national website. I guess I just hoped for something better out of US News and World Report. Like I said, just more proof that we need to disregard these types of rankings in the future.

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