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50+: Live Better, Longer

Survey Reveals the Nation's Happiest States

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