Minnesota’s roads ranked No. 1 in the United States

A pothole on a road in St. Paul.  (FOX 9)

 Minnesota’s roads are the best in the United States, a study by Consumer Affairs says.

According to the study, Minnesota ranks best because the state has the second-lowest rate of fatalities per mile driven. The state also has the third-largest network of rural roads in the U.S. and some of the lowest road roughness percentages for both urban and rural roads.

"This achievement didn’t happen by accident – it reflects our years-long commitment to improving the safety and quality of our roads," said Gov. Tim Walz in a statement about the analysis. "In Minnesota, we take pride in maintaining the infrastructure that builds strong communities, creates jobs, and drives economic growth."

Last year, Gov. Walz signed a $2.6 billion infrastructure bill, the largest infrastructure bill in the state's history.

Minnesota has 0.76 fatalities per 100 million miles driven — 3% of rural roads are rated poor, while 5% of urban roads are ranked poor. Minnesota spends $4.284 billion on roads yearly. 

Compare that to the state with the worst roads in the U.S., Rhode Island, which has 0.976 fatalities per 100 million miles driven — 17% of its rural roads are rated poor, and 41% of urban roads are rated poor. Rhode Island also has the smallest budget for road improvements, spending $537.729 million yearly. 

Wisconsin has the fifth-worst roads in the country. With 1.07 fatalities per 100 million miles driven, 6% of rural roads are rated poor and 28% of urban roads are rated poorly. 

States with the best roads 

  1. Minnesota
  2. Alabama
  3. Indiana
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Vermont
  6. Florida
  7. Idaho
  8. Georgia
  9. Utah
  10. Tennessee

States with the worst roads

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Hawaii
  3. California
  4. Louisiana
  5. Wisconsin
  6. New York
  7. Massachusetts
  8. Nebraska
  9. Arkansas
  10. Illinois

The study ranks roads in states by calculating car accident fatalities per 100 million miles traveled. Then states were ranked based on what their rate is compared to the state with the highest rate of car accident fatalities. Road surface roughness percentage also played a role in ranking the best roads. The study used data from the Federal Highway Administration, which measures road roughness with equipment that records how much vertical movement a car has over a stretch of road. Finally, the study ranked the state with the best and worst roads by evaluating how much each state invested in road improvements.