CNBC Ranking Of Worst States Is Completely At Odds With Where People Are Moving

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James Lynch Investigative Reporter
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A list of the worst U.S. states to live and work in by CNBC fails to consider economic success and where Americans are moving.

CNBC ranks Texas as the worst state to live and work in despite over 591,000 people moving to the state in 2021, compared to about 447,000 moving out, a net gain of over 140,000 residents, the most recent census data shows. The Lonestar state has a 4.1% unemployment rate, slightly higher than the U.S. unemployment rate of 3.7%, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) measured. (RELATED: Lawsuit Claims Red State Banning CCP-Linked TikTok Violates The Constitution)

Texas’ low ranking was based primarily on a low “life, health and inclusion” score determined by the state’s opposition to left-wing measures on abortion, transgenderism, labor and elections. Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott defeated Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke 54.76% to 43.86% in the 2022 midterm elections.

Second on CNBC’s worst state ranking is Oklahoma, where 108,000 moved in and 71,000 moved out in 2021, census data demonstrates. Oklahoma has an unemployment rate of 2.8% and the ninth-highest drug usage by state, a report from WalletHub found.

Each state listed by CNBC voted for former President Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. Florida, placed 10th on the list, is run by Trump’s biggest rival in the Republican presidential primary, Gov. Ron DeSantis, whose legislation protecting employees from Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) was highlighted by CNBC’s rankings.

Florida had more than 674,000 new residents in 2021 compared to 469,577 people who moved out of the state, a positive migration of over 200,000 people, census data shows. Florida’s unemployment rate is 2.6% and is the top state for attracting skilled workers, Lightcast’s 2022 talent attraction scorecard determined.

In comparison, California had roughly 433,000 people move in and 841,000 move out in 2021, a negative net migration of around 400,000 people. Likewise, New York State saw just over 287,000 people move in and 571,000 people out in 2021, meaning more than 283,000 people moved out of New York than moved to the state.