California has worst 'quality of life' in US, study says California ranks dead last among U.S. states in quality of life, according to a study by U.S. News, ranking behind New Jersey (49th) and Indiana (48th). The ignominious honor reflects California's low marks in the sub-categories of environmental quality and social engagement. The latter category measures voting participation and community bonds. Californians scored poorly in part because they're simply insufferable, U.S. News suggested. "In addition to a healthy environment, a person's quality of life is largely a result of their interactions with those around them," the magazine wrote in a blurb accompanying the results. Very sad state of affairs.