Gallup: America's Unhappy Index Climbs

Monday, 05 Mar 2012 10:41 AM

By Greg McDonald

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Happiness is an elusive thing for many Americans, according to a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index that found Hawaii to be the best off state in the country, and West Virginia, the worst, when it comes to achieving a happy lifestyle.

In fact, Americans “are slightly more miserable” this year than they were last year, according to a review of the index on the online breaking news wire 24/7 WallSt.

The misery can be contributed to a variety of financial, health, and social ills, ranging from poverty and the still lagging economy to low levels of education and poor physical health.

As a result, “In 2011, the national well-being score declined slightly from 2010 and was the lowest since the survey began in 2008,” the review found.

The Gallup index, which calculates the well-being for each state in scores running from 0 to 100, with 100 being the most ideal, found that the national average score of 66.8 in 2010 fell to 66.2 this year.

Nine of the 10 states where people tended to be better off or the happiest were in the West or Midwest, while five of the 10 states with the lowest well-being ratings were located in the South, where the economies, healthcare, education, and social problems pose the same kind of obstacles that they did when the index survey began in 2008.

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