The Happiest, Healthiest State In America Is …

Which US state has the most contented citizens?

The results of the latest Gallup Well-Being Index are out, and the winner is… North Dakota.

Despite its bitterly cold climate, North Dakota knocked off perennial winner Hawaii in the latest (2013) Gallup survey.

Environmentalists will probably find the results not to their liking because North Dakota is in the midst of an oil exploration boom.

North Dakota scored the best out of all 50 states on the basis of Gallup characteristics such as “life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities,” and the results are based on almost 200,000 interviews with adults in each state in calendar year 2013. In the top 10 list, North Dakota was followed in order by South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Montana, Vermont, Colorado, Hawaii, Washington, and Iowa.

West Virginia came in with the lowest well-being score of all 50 states according to Gallup.

The Inquisitr previously reported that North Dakota supposedly has the most amount of bars per capita in the US with one bar for every 1,620 North Dakotans. That metric may or may not have figured into the Gallup calculations.

Apart from the number of taverns, North Dakota seems to have a lot going for it, especially in a down economy across most of the country:

“Due in large part to profitable oil discoveries in the region, North Dakota’s economy grew by more than 13% in 2012, by far the fastest growth nationwide. The state’s unemployment rate has also been very low in recent years, clocking in at 2.6% in December compared with 6.7% nationally. With such low unemployment, it’s perhaps not surprising that economic confidence levels in the state were among the highest 10 in the country. More than nine in 10 adults were satisfied with their jobs in 2013, one of several reasons the state’s residents rated their work environment best in the nation. Supervisors in the state were more likely to treat their subordinates as partners than in any other state. With good wages and plenty of jobs, the vast majority of residents had enough money for adequate shelter, food and medicine. The proportion of respondents that were satisfied with their city and believed it was improving, however, was less than the national average.”

Commenting on the Well-Being Index, a Gallup official explained that “States that score high in well-being have achieved success in creating environments where people can live their best lives, something that goes far beyond physical wellness and traditional health risk factors. Individuals in these states are motivated to achieve their goals, enjoy what they do each day, feel safe and financially secure, have pride in their communities, and have the supportive relationships and good health they need to get things done each day.”

The same official, Dan Witters, added that “People in happy states are healthier, smoke less, and report learning new things every day. They have safe places to exercise and feel they are partners to, not underlings of, their bosses. They also take better care of their teeth. Access to dentistry… is a strong predictor of health and well-being.”

Assuming these findings are valid, does it surprise that North Dakota ranks first on Gallup’s Well-Being Index? Are you happy where you live?

[image credit: Shutterstock]