12 States That Might Not Be Gen Z-Friendly

From career opportunities to educational institutions, cost of living to the overall vibe, here is the list of the worst states for Gen Z that they should avoid at all cost.


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Oklahoma depends on the energy sector. This makes the economy vulnerable when oil prices drop. They cut education funding. This narrow focus provides fewer appealing opportunities.

  • Rank in quality of life: 40
  • Rank in work & education: 43


Aerial view of Delaware Memorial Bridge at dusk. The Delaware Memorial Bridge is a set of twin suspension bridges crossing the Delaware River between the states of Delaware and New Jersey
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Delaware needs more industry diversity, as it leans on chemical and financial services. Costs like housing are high in urban areas — underfunded schools and social services concern for youth.

  • Rank in quality of life: 44
  • Rank in work & education: 12


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Low wages and limited job options in fields that interest Gen Z make Arizona less appealing. Fast population growth strains resources. Costs of living are increasing.

  • Rank in quality of life: 48
  • Rank in work & education: 30


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Kentucky needs help with poverty and weak education results. Job growth is slower than in other states. Social services need improvement. The limitations on opportunities exist.

  • Rank in quality of life: 37
  • Rank in work & education: 41


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Tennessee needs more investment in education and infrastructure. Wages need to be higher for Gen Z. Fast urbanization increases costs in cities like Nashville.

  • Rank in quality of life: 43
  • Rank in work & education: 37


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Arkansas ranks low for healthcare, education, economy, and infrastructure. Opportunities are scarce while poverty and crime rates stay high. It is not the ideal launchpad.

  • Rank in quality of life: 45
  • Rank in work & education: 44

South Carolina

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South Carolina’s job market is dull. The state under-invests in education and social services. Unfair income and fewer chances to advance are major concerns.

  • Rank in quality of life: 42
  • Rank in work & education: 40


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Louisiana faces money and school challenges. It needs to improve appealing industries besides tourism. Natural disasters occur.

  • Rank in quality of life: 49
  • Rank in work & education: 48

New Mexico

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New Mexico struggles with high poverty and weak school systems. Good healthcare is hard to access in many areas. Job prospects seem restricted for this generation.

  • Rank in quality of life: 47
  • Rank in work & education: 49

West Virginia

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West Virginia’s declining coal industry gives few career options for Gen Z. Subpar education, infrastructure, and high poverty rates are worrying.

  • Rank in quality of life: 35
  • Rank in work & education: 45


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Alabama needs significant improvements to education, unfair income, social services, and infrastructure. Advancement options seem stifled. On the plus side, the costs of living are low.

  • Rank in quality of life: 46
  • Rank in work & education: 46


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Mississippi ranks fourth amongst the worst states for healthcare. It also needs to improve the economy, infrastructure, and education. Poverty and unemployment rates are troubling. Opportunities could be more sparse.

  • Rank in quality of life: 50
  • Rank in work & education: 50
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