Poll: North Dakotans Lead the Nation in 'Well-Being'; W. Va. Last
(CNSNews.com) - "Almost heaven" is how the late singer John Denver described West Virginia. But maybe not, according to a new survey from the Gallup poll people.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index found that North Dakota residents had the highest well-being in the nation in 2013, followed by South Dakota.
The Dakotas -- boosted by fracking in recent years -- bumped out Hawaii, which held the top spot for the previous four years. West Virginia and Kentucky had the two lowest well-being scores for the fifth year in a row.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index scores the states, and the nation, on a scale of 0 to 100. The number is derived by averaging six categories, including life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities.
For the nation as a whole, the Well-Being Index score dipped slightly in 2013 to 66.2 from 66.7 in 2012, and it matches the previous low, measured in 2011.
Nevertheless, Gallup concluded that overall well-being in the U.S. and within the states has been fairly steady since 2008, when the index began.
Well-Being Index: Top 10 States in 2013
North Dakota (70.4%)
Well-Being Index: Bottom 10 States in 2013
West Virginia (61.4%)
Results are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 2-Dec. 29, 2013, with a random sample of 178,072 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.