Report: Apache County one of the 'hardest places to live' in the US
Apache County ranked 2,987th out of 3,135 counties across the United States. The study looked at six major data points in its assessment, including education, unemployment rate, obesity, life expectancy, median household income and disability rate. Rankings were assigned to each county before the overall average rank was determined.
The 10 lowest-ranking counties in the U.S. were all scattered across the southeast and Appalachian Mountains, with Kentucky's Clay County taking the bottom ranking.
On the other end of the spectrum, Los Alamos County in New Mexico was considered the easiest place to live in the country, thanks in part to its housing of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which does the majority of the science work for the country's nuclear arsenal. According to the report, the laboratory employs 20 percent of the county's residents -- approximately 3,600 people -- and holds a budget of $2.1 billion.
Six of the top 10 counties in ease of life, meanwhile, lie in the suburban neighborhoods of Washington, D.C.