Gallup polling revealed in February which U.S states rank the highest according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. The survey was conducted daily since January to December 2012 and involved about 350,000 Americans nationwide, Gallup said. The Index measures about 50 well-being items including health, work satisfaction, life evaluation, and others. The items are measured on a scale from 0 to 100, the last representing ideal well-being.
In 2012, there were few changes compared to the previous year in the states with the highest and lowest levels of well-being, Gallup said in a statement on its website. The overall index of well-being for the nation has not shown any consistent year-on-year changes, picking up 0.5 points on the year, to 66.7. States with the highest well-being were located mainly in the Western, Midwestern and New England regions, while southern regions comprises the most of the states from the down of the list, a pattern that has not changed over the last five years.
“Overall wellbeing in the U.S. and within states has remained mostly unchanged from 2008 to 2012, despite some signs of an improving economy in 2012. The lack of progress among the states with the lowest well-being scores may be related to low household income levels in these states. Nearly all of the states with the lowest well-being scores in 2012 are also states with the lowest median household incomes,” the statement added.
Some improvements which may help to increase the year-on-year change of well-being for individuals with low-incomes are some provisions of the Affordable Care Act. Some efforts in the public education domain, especially those involving low-income citizens may be essential for some more significant changes.
Private sector is another point where some measures can be taken in order to help individuals improve their well-being. For example, employers can take some steps, adopt some policies or set up some incentives in order to encourage their workers to opt for more healthy behaviors.
Continue reading to see top 10 states according to Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index: