Holding strong to their number one position, the people of the Aloha State seemingly hold the secret to high well-being. Between the sunshine and the beaches there are people thriving in emotional health and healthy behaviors. So who else is doing it right? Alaskans see the sunny side of life and score highest in life evaluation, a measure of their current life situation and their optimism for the future. Vermont leads with healthy behaviors. Massachusetts continues to come in at the top with basic access, and residents of North Dakota are whistling while they work, coming in with the highest work environment scores.
On the other end of the well-being spectrum, we find West Virginia and Kentucky maintaining their positions as the states with the lowest well-being. The people of West Virginia continue to struggle with the lowest life evaluation and physical health. Consistent with the last 3 years, the people of the Bluegrass State perform worst in emotional health; and Mississippi residents perform lowest in the area of basic access. What is the state with the lowest work environment index score? Louisiana beat out Delaware for this title for the first time since 2009. And Oklahoma, where the wind comes sweepin’ down the plains, unhealthy behaviors are also sweeping through the countryside.
As you can probably see from the color clusters in the map above, there are some patterns of well-being by geographical region. Chances are if you’re in the south, not so well. Eight of the eleven states with the lowest well-being are in the South. Four of the top seven states are located in the West, and five Midwestern states and three Eastern states rank in the top twelve.
|North Dakota||70.5||Above Average|
|New Hampshire||67.9||Above Average|
|South Dakota||67.6||Above Average|
|South Carolina||65.7||Below Average|
|New York||65.2||Below Average|
|West Virginia||62.4||Below Average|
About the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index tracks U.S. well-being and provides best-in-class solutions for a healthier world. To learn more, please visit