US Dept. of Agriculture Ranks Counties by Natural Beauty, California Wins

You probably already knew that, no matter where you live. Why?

Because every single California county is ranked in the top-20 percentile.

The California coast dominates the top-10, but all the inland counties are not far behind. Ventura County being the most naturally beautiful county in the county. Red Lake County, Minnesota ranks dead last of the country’s 3,111 counties. California’s worst by comparison, is Sutter County ranked 543rd, higher than every county in a fair number of states.

The rankings by the USDA are compiled via the “natural amenities index” which measures geographic traits like warm winter, winter sun, temperate summer, low summer humidity, topographic variation, and water area.

What one finds beautiful is obviously subjective, but California’s high rankings across the board can be attributed to an astounding geographic diversity and that has helped fuel the state’s population growth.

To find out how high your county ranks, see an interactive map of the USDA rankings here.


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