This may come as a surprise to many, but in a recent state ranking for 2021 by U.S. News & World Report, Montana ranked fairly low. The Treasure State is in the middle of the pack.

After Nikki West at 104.3 WOW Country in Boise, Idaho reported that Idaho ranked #5, we had to see how Montana compared.

U.S. News & World Report used a variety of factors in order to rank states in 2021. The Best States ranking of U.S. states draws on thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their citizens. In addition to health care and education, the metrics take into account a state’s economy, its roads, bridges, internet, and other infrastructure, its public safety, the fiscal stability of state government, and the opportunity it affords its residents.

More weight was accorded to some state measures than others, based on a survey of what matters most to people. Health care and education were weighted most heavily. Then came state economies, infrastructure, and the opportunity states offer their citizens. Fiscal stability followed closely in weighting, followed by measures of crime and corrections and a state's natural environment.

According to the study, Montana ranks as the 33rd best state in the country.

Here's how Montana ranked in each category. 

  • Health Care - 36/50
  • Education - 32/50
  • Economy - 19/50
  • Infrastructure - 13/50
  • Opportunity - 35/50
  • Fiscal Stability - 19/50
  • Crime Corrections - 34/50
  • Natural Environment - 24/50

Montana ranks in the lower 50% in health care, education, opportunity, and crime corrections. One category where Montana got robbed was natural environment, which looks at the quality of air and water in a state, as well as exposure to pollution and toxins. I'm no expert, but I'm pretty sure Montana ranks higher than #24 in that category.

To read more about the best state rankings and to find more information about the ranking system, click here.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.