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50+: Live Better, Longer

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Survey Reveals the Nation's Happiest States

Well-Being Index Rates the Emotional and Physical Health of Americans

Money Problems Affect Well-Being Scores

According to the survey, residents of Delaware report the worst working environments in the nation, while those in South Dakota are most positive about the places they earn money.

Vermont has the best overall health habits in the nation and Kentucky has the worst.

Residents of Massachusetts have the best access to crucial necessities, such as clean water, medicine, food, and shelter, while Mississippi had the worst.

The researchers who put together the questions and tabulated the answers say improving well-being scores will be a challenge because many states have fiscal problems, which causes the closing of public schools, layoffs, and cuts in the number of workers and public services.

“Although money is tight, finding ways to increase residents’ access to good jobs and to basic necessities -- including medical care in particular -- and decrease costly, chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes, will be the most likely means to improve well-being,” the researchers write. “At a time when state and local governments are challenged with being able to provide basic services, business leaders may be able to step in and play an important role in increasing well-being in their communities, which is good for business, as higher well-being means lower healthcare costs and greater economic growth.”

State-by-State Well-Being Scores

Here is a list of all the states based on overall well-being scores:

  • Hawaii 71
  • Wyoming 69.2
  • North Dakota 68.4
  • Alaska 68.3
  • Colorado 68
  • Minnesota 68
  • South Dakota 68
  • Utah 67.9
  • Connecticut 67.9
  • Nebraska 67.8
  • Massachusetts 67.8
  • Maryland 67.5
  • Washington 67.5
  • Montana 67.3
  • Kansas 67.2
  • New Hampshire 67.2
  • Vermont 67.1
  • California 67
  • Iowa 66.9
  • Idaho 66.9
  • New Mexico 66.7
  • Virginia 66.7
  • Wisconsin 66.7
  • New Jersey 66.6
  • Maine 66.4
  • Illinois 66.3
  • Oregon 66.3
  • Texas 66.3
  • Arizona 66.2
  • Pennsylvania 66.1
  • Georgia 66.1
  • New York 65.9
  • Rhode Island 65.7
  • Missouri 65.6
  • South Carolina 65.3
  • North Carolina 65.1
  • Florida 65.1
  • Oklahoma 64.9
  • Indiana 64.8
  • Tennessee 64.8
  • Michigan 64.6
  • Louisiana 64.3
  • Delaware 64.2
  • Nevada 64.2
  • Ohio 63.8
  • Alabama 63.7
  • Arkansas 63.7
  • Mississippi 63.0
  • Kentucky 61.9
  • West Virginia 61.7
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