Those lists mean nothing and are themselves bias in many ways. I live in Virginia which traditionally rates high in all those lists, and it's true that Virginia is a great State to live in. But those lists also have States that traditionally rank low which I've been to and are every bit as good as Virginia. Take South Carolina for instance -- a State that usually doesn't rank very high in certain lists. But I lived in South Carolina for 2 months in 2007 and wanted to move there because I loved it so much. I only came back to Virginia because my mothers husband died unexpectedly and she asked me to come home. I also spent 2 months in Montana in 2010 and it's the most amazing place I've ever been. The Southern people are known for their hospitality and friendly nature, and Montana is the same way. I have so many stories from my time there. Anyway, I could go on and on about this topic since I've given it much thought, and I've traveled a lot. I rode a bicycle from Montana to Kentucky in 2010 over a 45 day period and everyday was me having personal dealings and discussions with the locals of each place I visited. I'm also a student of American society, culture, and history, and have been for 20 years. I know this land, its people, and its history very well. An intelligent and responsible man can make it anywhere in any of the 50 States if he really wants to. What's important is what are the people like, and what is the cost of living. Also, weather, natural disasters and such-like is important to many but these things are subjective. Of course, if you need work to survive you'll have to consider how you'll make your living. This is easy if your life hasn't been wasted and you have skills which are always needed in the market no matter where you live. Everywhere in these united States need carpenters, engineers, craftsman of all sorts, managers, Etc. The above factors rank all the Southern States highly desirable places to live because the people are awesome, and the cost of living is super cheap. You can get land and homes in most Southern States for 500k that the equal of which would cost you double, and sometimes triple or more in other areas of the Union. Where I currently live in Virginia I paid 75k for 2.5 acres and a home which is nearly impossible in many places. I live 45 minutes from Richmond, 40 minutes from Williamsburg (one of America's best small cities), an hour and a half from Virginia Beach. This is normal in the South. New England is low on my lists because it's expensive, the people are rude, it's very divided, it's far left politically, taxes are high, control/regulation is extreme, it snows too much, cities are dirty, and the accent is nails on a chalkboard. It has beautiful Falls though.