Gallup: North Dakota Is The Happiest State, West Virginia Comes In Last Again

If you’re living in North or South Dakota right now, you’ve probably got a big ol’ grin on your satisfied face. And well you should, as a new study from Gallup says the Dakotas top the list of states with the highest well-being figures in the nation for 2013.

So what exactly is well-being, and how does the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index work out? The numbers reflect the overall health, employment, education and the local environment, Dan Witters, research director of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, told 24/7 Wall St.

Basically, this means that if you’ve got a bustling economy and educated, healthy people boosting employment rates, that can collectively lift well-being in an area, which in turn could provide further opportunities to develop a community and make it even happier.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index is based on interviews with more than 176,000 people from all 50 states last year and takes a look at the physical and emotional health of the nation.

States at the top of the scores have residents who probably don’t smoke, likely exercise more often and better themselves by learning new things every day.

On the other end of the spectrum, states with low well-being scores were more likely to have residents who exhibit unhealthy behaviors or don’t have access to basic necessities. That takes a toll on their health, both emotional and physical, the study finds.

Check out the best and the worst and either high-five yourself for being in the top 10 or feel just, totally awful. Thanks, Gallup. Scores are out of a possible 100 points.

The Top 10
1. North Dakota: 70.4
2. South Dakota: 70.0
3. Nebraska: 69.7
4. Minnesota: 69.7
5. Montana: 69.3
6. Vermont: 69.1
7. Colorado:68.9
8. Hawaii: 68.4
9. Washington: 68.3
10. Iowa: 68.2

The Bottom 10
50. West Virginia: 61.4
49. Kentucky: 63.0
48. Mississippi: 63.7
47. Alabama: 64.1
46. Ohio: 64.2
45. Arkansas: 64.3
44. Tennessee: 64.3
43. Missouri: 64.5
42. Oklahoma: 64.7
41. Louisiana: 64.9

North Dakota No. 1 in Well-Being, West Virginia Still Last [Gallup]
America’s Most Content (and Miserable) States [24/7 Wall St.]

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