The 10 Best States for a Quality Living Environment

The blue waters of the peaceful tropics are important too. And not being overly crowded definitely adds value.

Those are the opinions of CEOs nationwide. Of all 50 states, CEOs ranked Idaho first in having the highest quality living environment, according to Chief Executive’s 2016 Best & Worst States for Business. Colorado came in second. Tropical Hawaii and Florida also made the top 10 list.

On a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the highest, CEOs who responded to the survey rated Idaho 8.62 and Colorado 8.25. Texas, the No. 1 state for business overall, came in 10th.

Living Environment Chart.xlsxThe western region of the U.S. overall had the most states with a high-quality living environment. Of the 11 states in the region (Nevada, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, Washington, Oregon, California, Alaska and Hawaii), four made the top 10 list for best living environment.

Although none were in the top 3, the Southeast region, overall, had more states that ranked in the top 10 for quality of living environment than any other geographic area in the United States, with 5. Texas was the only state representing the Southwest. The Northeast and Midwest regions did not make the list.

Review the entire 2016 Best & Worst States for Business survey, including individual state rankings, CEO comments, methodology and more at