Schools in the southwestern state of Baden-Württemberg have come in at the top of a national ranking of German universities carried out by the Center for Higher Education Development. In its ranking, the center took into consideration the reputations of universities in Germany's 16 federal states, research activities, average length of time to obtain a degree and evaluations from students. The data were obtained between 2002 and 2004. Schools in Bavaria, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania and Thuringia ranked second, third and fourth respectively. Coming in at the bottom were schools in the states of Saarland, Schleswig-Holstein and Hamburg. Institutes of higher education in Baden-Württemberg did well in the ranking largely due to the satisfaction of students there and the strong emphasis on research.