The Camelot Index was developed by Reports founding editor Hal Hovey several years ago. It is based on the premise that most people share a common set of preferences: fewer taxes are better than more, small class sizes are better than large, low death rates are better than high, less crime is better than more and so on.
Many studies incorporate such preferences, but they often focus on just one area. For example, a study may attempt to identify the “healthiest” state but ignore the fact that health care isn’t delivered in a vacuum; it may be traded off with something else.
The Camelot Index brings together measures of economic vitality, health, education, crime, society and government. In the current Index, many states rank consistently across measures, while others do quite well on some measures but not on others. The historic dominance of the Plains continues, with four states ranking among the top five (but once again, not at the very top).