This hurts. This really hurts. In a recent article in U.S. News & World Report, California ranked dead last in quality of life in a survey ranking the best states in the country. No. 1 in quality of life was North Dakota. What? No. 1 state overall to live in across all the categories ranked in the article was Iowa. What? No way. They’re flyover states. Actually, most of the time you don’t even fly over North Dakota unless you’re going to Canada. No, it’s not “fake news.” Using 75 metrics, the study measured outcomes for citizens living in the 50 states concerning health care, education, economy, opportunity, infrastructure, crime and corrections, fiscal stability and quality of life. California only ranked 32 overall taking all the categories into account. But its ranking in quality of life is a stunner. In those rankings, this study tracked factors such as air quality, overall pollution, voter participation and social support. The magazine’s editors wrote: “In addition to a healthy environment, a person’s quality of life is largely a result of their interactions with those around them.” This means that social support is woefully lacking in this state. But so is affordable housing. So is life-work balance due to long commutes. So are affordable prices at the grocery store and especially at the gas station. But, we’ve got natural beauty. The best of any state. It’s sunny and warm all the time. We’ve got a beautiful coastline. If you live in L.A. County you can experience the beach, the city, the desert or snow in the mountains in a relatively short drive. We’re the place where trends are set. The rest of the country follows us. We’re educated. We’re clever. We’re fashionable. We have Hollywood. What more do you want? The quality of life ranking took into consideration each state’s “social environment” which means how often people participate in community events and how often they spend time with friends, family and work colleagues. It also looked at level of voter participation. California flunked all of that. But we’ve got sun; we’ve got natural beauty; we’ve got Hollywood. The study is food for thought and we believe that if the Santa Clarita Valley was ranked separately from the rest of the state, we’d rank much higher on quality of life. People here do interact with each other more and participate in community events. But it looks like we’re the exception.