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A formula that weighs 43 factors, from crime and marriage rates to "deficient bridges," has revealed Utah as the nation's "Most Livable State."

Utah edged out 1991 winner New Hampshire, which slipped to second place in the second annual rankings compiled by Morgan Quitno Corp., the company said Sunday. Minnesota, Nebraska and Kansas rounded out the top five.Mississippi placed last in the company's "State Rankings 1992," replacing Louisiana, which moved up a spot.

"Utah simply has what people and companies are looking for," said Scott Morgan, president of Morgan Quitno. "The state has healthy, highly educated citizens; relatively low taxes and very little poverty."

Morgan Quitno, which is based in Lawrence, publishes State Rankings and State Perspectives.

Although the rankings are certain to draw protest from some states, the company said the factors on which they're based fairly reflect what many Americans view as "items which make up a basic overall high quality of life."

"There is not a state in the union which doesn't have something going for it, some part of it in which its citizens take great pride," Morgan said. "However, this ranking reflects those factors which the average American considers important to his or her daily life."

The Census Bureau, federal Commerce Department and Centers for Disease Control are among the sources listed by the publisher for its data on graduation rates, suicide, taxes, crime and other factors.

"With so many special interest groups putting out state rankings in their narrow area of concern, people seem to enjoy our well-rounded rankings," Morgan said. "It's interesting to find out which state the numbers say is the best all-around - the most livable."



Top 5, bottom 5

Here are the top five "most liveable states' and the bottom five, with the 1991 ranking in parentheses:

1. Utah (3)

2. New Hampshire (1)

3. Minnesota (2)

4. Nebraska (12)

5. Kansas (9)

46. Kentucky (39)

47. Tennessee (42)

48. Alabama (49)

49. Louisiana (50)

50. Mississippi (45)