Tags: happiest | healthiest | states | alaska | well-being

Happiest, Healthiest States Ranked: Alaska Tops Well-Being List

By    |   Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 02:58 PM

The happiest, healthiest people in the United States in 2014 were those living in Alaska, which for the first time topped an annual poll seeking out states where people have the best well-being in the country.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index studies five essential elements of well-being, the organization’s press release said:

• “Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
• Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
• Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
• Community: liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community
• Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily”

Although Alaska residents have been in the Top 5 before, this was the first time they landed the No. 1 spot since the index was launched in 2008, the release said. Next on the list were Hawaii and South Dakota, followed by Wyoming and Montana.

At the bottom of the list, with the lowest well-being index, was West Virginia, barely edging out Kentucky for the bottom spot. The two states have held the 50th and 49th spots for six consecutive years. Other states at the bottom of the list were Indiana, Ohio, Mississippi, and Alabama.

North Dakota had the top spot on the list in 2013, the release said, but dropped sharply to 23rd in 2014.

“North Dakota's drop was mostly attributable to a drop in its residents' overall life evaluation, coupled with worsened health-related behaviors such as higher smoking rates, reduced exercise and less healthy eating compared with 2013,” the release said.

"[Alaskans] do a lot of the blocking and tackling, as far as taking care of themselves and making good choices, but also demonstrating good holistic well-being in ways that extend beyond the conventional physical wellness," Dan Witters, research director of the Gallup-Healthways index, told USA Today.

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The happiest, healthiest people in the United States in 2014 were those living in Alaska, which for the first time topped an annual poll seeking out states where people have the best well-being in the country.
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2015-58-19
Thursday, 19 Feb 2015 02:58 PM
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