Utahns love their state, Gallup poll shows

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A recent Gallup poll indicates that 70 percent of Utah residents rank their state as one of the best places to live in the United States. (Wikimedia photo)

A recent Gallup poll indicates that 70 percent of Utah residents rank their state as one of the best places to live in the United States. (Wikimedia photo)

Utahns believe their state is a pretty great place to live.

In fact, in a recent Gallup poll, when asked to rate their state as a place to live, 70 percent of the residents of Utah said their state was the best or one of the best places to live.

Only the residents of Montana and Alaska had a higher opinion of their home state. In those two western states, 77 percent gave the highest ratings.

“Residents with the most pride in their state as a place to live generally boast a greater standard of living, higher trust in state government, and less resentment toward the amount they pay in state taxes,” Justin McCarthy of the Gallup organization said.

Rhode Island residents are the most dissatisfied. Only 18 percent gave the high rating in the poll. Other low-rated states were Illinois (19 percent) and Mississippi (26 percent).

A 50-state Gallup poll conducted June-December 2013 came up with the results. At least 600 residents in each state were interviewed. Answer choices included (a) the best possible state to live in, (b) one of the best possible states to live in, (c) a good state as any to live in, (d) the worst possible state to live in.

Texas had the highest percentage of people who rated their state as the best possible state to live in. Alaska and Hawaii were also high in that category.

On the other end of the spectrum, Illinois had the highest percentage of people (25 percent) who say it is the worst possible place to live.  The rating may be explained by Illinois’s numerous scandals, followed by investigations and resignations. Illinois residents had the least trust in their state government and the most resentment for the amount of taxes they pay.

For details on Gallup’s methodology, visit gallup.com.

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Ron Bennett is a recently retired university journalism professor at Brigham Young University-Idaho, where he taught journalistic writing, editing and mass media classes. He received the Distinguished Faculty award at BYU-I in 2012, and he was honored by the College Media Advisers Association in 2002 with the Distinguished Newspaper Adviser's Award. Prior to entering education, he was a professional journalist at several newspapers, including the Gazette-Journal in Reno, Nevada.

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