Letter: Despite recent No. 1 ranking, perhaps Utah is not No. 1 after all

The "Welcome to Utah" sign is shown Friday, April 10, 2020, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

Yippee! Utah is the No. 1 state in the nation in 2023, according to U.S. News & World Report. That is something we always knew.

However, when one checks out evaluations of surveys conducted by U.S. News, one learns that “rankings can be influenced by what participants disclose.” For example, states can make “strategic responses” and can even “manipulate figures.” What? Not here in Utah.

Utah would never leave anything out of its disclosures, would it? Well, the narrative accompanying Utah’s No. 1 state ranking says Utah “contains the largest saltwater lake in the Western Hemisphere.” However, at the time Utah disclosed that cool bit of geological detail, the Great Salt Lake was not there any longer.

Utah was rated the No. 15 state on “crime and corrections,” but that ranking took no account of ABC’s devastating “20/20″ investigative report into Utah’s failing criminal justice system and University of Utah’s incompetent campus police department made while reviewing the Lauren McCluskey murder case.

The report had Utah at No. 5 on “education” using self-reported education statistics, but Utah was No. 50 in per-pupil spending in 2022, according to the National Education Association. An independent report of No. 50 is probably more reliable than a self-reported No. 5, don’t you think?

Yikes, maybe we are not No. 1 after all.

Kimball Shinkoskey, Woods Cross

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