Hawaii Ranks First In Well-Being Index

Gallup recently released the 2011 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index scores for each of the fifty states.  Gallup gathered the data through surveys conducted daily from January to December of 2011.  The data are based on six sub-indices spanning from work environment to physical condition to emotional health.  Altogether, these sub-indices comprise the Well-Being Index, which is calculated on a 0 to 100 scale.  In 2011, the nation’s Well-Being Index was 66.2, down from 66.8 in 2010 and the lowest score since the study began in 2008.  The five states with the highest scores were Hawaii, North Dakota, Minnesota, Utah, and Alaska, in that order, while Ohio, Delaware, Mississippi, Kentucky, and West Virginia marked the five states with the lowest well-being scores.  Nine of the top ten states were located in the West or the Midwest, while Southern states accounted for five of the ten states with the lowest scores.  Alaskans were the most likely to rate their lives as “thriving,” giving the state the highest score in the Life Evaluation Index in the nation.  Massachusetts led the way in the Basic Access sub-index with a score of 86.6, indicating that the state’s residents have the greatest access to items essential to wellbeing, like food, medicine, shelter, a secure environment in which to exercise, and satisfaction with one’s community.  On the other end of this metric was Mississippi, scoring 77.6 and ranking last in Basic Access for the second straight year.  Hawaii’s residents performed the best in the Healthy Behaviors sub-index with a score of 68.9, meaning that Hawaiians have good eating and exercise habits, while also maintaining low smoking rates.  
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