WASHINGTON, Jan. 28 (UPI) — Americans in search of a sense of well-being should look to Hawaii and avoid West Virginia, a survey indicates.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, an annual poll to determine how residents of each state feel about their health, sense of purpose and other factors that add up to a sense of satisfaction, declared Hawaii the overall leader with the “highest well-being.”
Alaska, last year’s leader, is second this year, followed by Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Utah, Arizona and California for America’s Top 10 states. West Virginia and Kentucky finished 50th and 49th, respectively, the same positions each had last year.
Florida moved from 26th last year to 12th in 2016; Alabama moved from 46th to 18th, while Vermont fell from 13th in 2015 to 29th in 2016.
Overall, more respondents than last year reported feelings of financial well-being and overall well-being and the number of people who reported that they smoked and felt insecure about food and health care fell. Obesity, and part-time employees seeking full-time work remained prominent issues.
By category, Delaware residents have the highest sense of purpose, the most “socially fulfilled” can be found in South Carolina, those in Alaska felt the most financially secure, Hawaii had the highest feelings of physical well-being and Montanans felt best about their sense of community.
The survey included interviews with 177,000 people conducted throughout the year, using a zero-to-100 scale and providing a statistical sample projecting to an estimated 95 percent of U.S. adults.