North Dakota and other rural states led the Reason Foundation’s performance rankings of state highway systems, while more populous states including New Jersey, California and New York found themselves toward the bottom of the ratings.

“A widening gap seems to be emerging between most states that are making progress and a few states that are finding it difficult to improve,” the foundation said in its  20th Annual Highway Report, which was based primarily on 1984-2009 data submitted to the federal government by state highway agencies, but included information on economic trends and federal stimulus funds from 2010 and 2011.

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