For the second consecutive year, the Land of 10,000 Lakes is No. 1.
Minnesota is the best state for a dental assistant to work, according to numbers put together by Dental Assisting Digest in our annual "best states for dental assistants to work" survey. Eight factors were used to compile the best states list:
- Cost of living (column B on the PDF link below)
- Percentage of violent crimes per state's population (column C on the PDF link below)
- Percentage of state's population without dental insurance (column D on the PDF link below)
- Percentage of state's population who had all teeth extracted (column E on the PDF link below)
- Percentage of state's population to regularly see the dentist (column F on the PDF link below)
- Percentage of state's population who had regular teeth cleanings (column G on the PDF link below)
- Percentage of state's population to have fluoride in the drinking water (column H on the PDF link below)
- Average salary for dental assistants (column I on the PDF link below)
Each state (and District of Columbia) was assigned a number between 1 and 51 for each category, and then the sum of the eight categories for each state (and D.C.) was used to complete the findings. The total is represented in column J on the PDF link below.
Minnesota finished with a total score of 80, finishing in the top 10 in six of the eight categories. Connecticut was second (96 points), Wisconsin was third (115), Rhode Island was fourth (123), and Iowa and Virginia tied for fifth (129).
Again this year, the Midwest and Northeast regions had strong showings overall. Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Michigan, and the Dakotas gave the Midwest five states in the top 11 overall. Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts represented the Northeast with four states in the top 11.
Unfortunately, the bottom four from last year's survey remained the bottom four in this year's survey as well, with Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Mississippi finishing just ahead of last-place Louisiana, which finished with 319 points. Oklahoma and Arkansas finished in the bottom four overall despite placing first and second in terms of cost of living.
Click here to find out where your state finished in our 2009 "best state" listing.