Michigan’s ranking among states continues to fall under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, with the Great Lakes State now in the bottom half in every category measured by U.S. News & World Report.

Michigan slid from 41st overall in the media site’s “Best States” ranking last year to 42nd for 2024, based on eight different metrics that measure everything from crime and corrections, to the economy, to opportunity for residents.

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“The Best States rankings by U.S. News draw on thousands of data points to measure how well states are performing for their citizens,” according to the report.

“More weight was accorded to some categories than others, based on a survey of what matters most to people,” it read. “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.”

Michigan’s best ranking was a 28th place finish for the state’s economy, which included subrankings that put the state in 20th for business environment, 28th for employment, and 35th for growth.

The mitten finished in 27th for opportunity, 29th in health care, 30th for natural environment, 32nd for fiscal stability, 38th for crime and corrections, and in 41st for both education and infrastructure.

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The data shows Michigan students have below average math test scores, are less likely to graduate high school, and leave college with more debt, when compared to the national average.

Other metrics show Michigan under Whitmer has a higher poverty rate, lower median household income, more industrial toxins, more drinking water violations, less renewable energy usage, worse roads, and higher rates of incarceration and violent crime than most states.

The U.S. News & World Report’s Best States ranking is only the latest measure of how Michigan has fared under complete Democratic government control for the first time in four decades.

In April, the state slid to 31st nationally in the same site’s ranking of the best high schools, which used 2021-22 data on college readiness, college curriculum breadth, state assessment proficiency, state assessment performance, underserved student performance, and graduation rate.

“Michigan ranked 31st in a comparison of states with the highest percentage of top-ranked public high schools, dropping five spots from its ranking last year of 26th when it tied with Kentucky,” according to the news site.

While top ranked states like Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Jersey had more than 40% of eligible high schools in the top 25% of the rankings, Michigan had a mere 22% – with only three schools in the top 100.

Other measures of Whitmer’s performance has come from 24/7 Wall Street and United Van Lines’ 47th Annual National Movers Study.

The former used the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2022 American Community Survey for 43 metropolitan statistical areas with at least a 3% population decline between 2017 and 2022 to dub Kalamazoo “the fastest shrinking city in the nation.”

In the United Van Lines study, Michigan ranked fifth for top outbound states for 2023, behind only New Jersey, Illinois, North Dakota, and New York.

A report from Whitmer’s Growing Michigan Together Council released late last year found the state is “lagging in median income, educational outcomes, and attainment and have fallen behind faster-growing peer states in key measures of infrastructure, community well-being, and job opportunitis.

“We are losing more young residents than we’re attracting, and our population is aging faster than those of our neighbors,” the report read.

Policy experts have attributed much of Michigan’s decline to Whitmer’s policies in recent years.

Michael LaFaive, senior director of the Morey Fiscal Policy Initiative, points to Whitmer and her Democratic allies in the Legislature for making life more expensive for Michiganders through the repeal of the state’s right-to-work law and many other policies.

“Outbound migration will continue to be an issue, and I suspect accelerate unless our state makes an about-face in its policy choices,” LaFaive told The Midwesterner.

Repealing right-to-work is “not the only bad policy choice that has been adopted lately that will make outbound migration more appealing to those who live here,” he said. “Economics 101 tells us if you raise the price of anything less will be demanded of it. So, if lawmakers raise the cost of living, working, and creating jobs, we’ll get less living in Michigan, fewer jobs, and less wealth too.”