North Carolina Highway
In this photo, vehicles move along Interstate 440 as snow falls on Jan. 17, 2018, in Raleigh, North Carolina. Getty Images / Lance King

The Reason Foundation, an American libertarian think tank founded in 1978 and based in Los Angeles, California, releases a list of United States' best, worst, safest and most expensive State Highway System every year.

The National Highway System (NHS) is a cluster of highways within the United States that include the Interstate Highway System as well as other roads which connect to major airports, ports, rail or truck terminals, railway stations, pipeline terminals and other strategic transport facilities. Together it forms the largest highway system in the world.

Individual states are encouraged to focus federal funds on improving the efficiency and safety of this network.

In their magazine, Reason, the foundation, released their 23rd Annual Highway Report on Feb. 8. which states North Dakota and Kansas have the United States' most cost-effective highway systems, while New Jersey and Rhode Island have the worst.

The ranking is decided by taking into consideration 11 categories, including “pavement condition, deficient bridges, traffic congestion, fatality rates, spending per mile of state-controlled highway, and system administrative costs,” as reported by Bulk Transporter, a magazine that has served information regarding the bulk transportation and logistics industry since 1937.

According to the report, North Dakota was ranked first on both its performance and its cost-effectiveness while New Jersey ranked last, 50th.

The position was calculated on the basis of a scoring system which checked the highway’s urban Interstate pavement condition, rural Interstate pavement condition, urbanized area traffic congestion, and maintenance disbursements per mile.

The other states included in the top five were Kansas, South Dakota, Nebraska and South Carolina.

Reports state New Jersey stood last not only due to having the worst urban traffic congestion but also for spending the most per mile — $2 million per mile of state-controlled highway, which is more than double of what Florida, the next highest state, spends per mile.

The other states included in the bottom five were Connecticut, Hawaii, Alaska and Rhode Island.

This year’s study was based on spending and performance data that state highway agencies submitted to the federal government for the year 2015. The year 2015 was used as it was the most recent year with complete data available. The reports state while Massachusetts had the lowest fatality rate, Wyoming had the least traffic congestion.

However, Alaska had the worst pavement condition.

Close to 23 out of the 50 states made definitive progress in their rankings especially Iowa and Delaware. While Iowa jumped from 40th to 15th in the overall rankings, Delaware improved 18 spots, from 37th to 19th overall. Other states like Wisconsin, West Virginia, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Ohio, and Maine fell several spots in the table.

Here is the complete list:

1) North Dakota

2) Kansas

3) South Dakota

4) Nebraska

5) South Carolina

6) Montana

7) Idaho

8) Wyoming

9) Missouri

10) Utah

11) Mississippi

12) Tennessee

13) Kentucky

14) North Carolina

15) Iowa

16) Arizona

17) Alabama

18) Georgia

19) Delaware

20) Nevada

21) Oregon

22) Texas

23) Maine

24) New Mexico

25) Minnesota

26) Ohio

27) Virginia

28) Illinois

29) Arkansas

30) New Hampshire

31) Colorado

32) Michigan

33) Oklahoma

34) Indiana

35) Florida

36) West Virginia

37) Louisiana

38) Wisconsin

39) Vermont

40) Maryland

41) Pennsylvania

42) California

43) Washington

44) Massachusetts

45) New York

46) Connecticut

47) Hawaii

48) Alaska

49) Rhode Island

50) New Jersey

Also, click here to find out each state’s highway performance ranking in each of the given categories.