Hawaii, Alaska, South Dakota top all U.S. states in well-being

Visitors enjoy the Kailua Beach park in Kailua, Hawaii, on December 26, 2011, during a visit by President Barack Obama. Hawaii, for the sixth time since 2008, has the highest level of well-being, a poll shows. File Photo by Kent Nishimura/UPI

Feb. 1 (UPI) — A Gallup poll shows that for a sixth time, Hawaii leads all U.S. states for having the highest scores of well-being, followed by Alaska and South Dakota.

The Gallup and Healthways Well-Being Index, which began in 2008, shows Hawaii has a score of 65.2, followed by Alaska’s score of 64 and South Dakota’s score of 63.7. A score of 100 is the highest possible score for well-being in the index.

The remaining seven states in the top 10 ranked in descending order are Maine, Colorado, Vermont, Arizona, Montana, Minnesota and Texas.

Overall, the United States’ Well-Being Index scored increased from 61.7 in 2015 to 62.1 in 2016.

The poll, which was conducted from Jan. 2, 2016, until Dec. 30, asked a random sample of 177,192 adults in all U.S. states questions related to whether they feel like they have a purpose in life, whether they have supportive and loving social relationships, whether their financial situation is secure and stress free, whether they appreciate their community and whether they have good enough health and energy to handle daily tasks.

“As in prior years, well-being follows a regional pattern. Outside of Hawaii and Alaska, the states with the highest well-being are located in the Northern Plains and the Mountain West, in addition to pockets of the Northeast and Southwest. The states with the lowest well-being are found in the South and the industrial Midwest,” Gallup said in a statement.

The states with the lowest scores ranked in descending order are Mississippi, Rhode Island, Louisiana, Alabama, Ohio, Arkansas, Indiana, Oklahoma, Kentucky and West Virginia. Florida, though in the South, ranked in the top 12, while Nevada, though in the West, ranked lower in well-being than its neighbors.


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