A recent Gallup poll unearthed eye-opening statistics on Thursday, when the firm published its latest findings detailing Americans’ well-being in each of the 50 states in 2013. Gallup reported that since 2010, the first full year after the Great Recession, citizens’ well-being scores have shown gradual improvement, but residents in a handful of states — namely North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska — have posted especially high scores.
Gallup reports that its state-level data are based on 178,000 interviews the consulting company conducts with American adults across all 50 states from January to December of each year. Originating in 2008, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index score for the nation and each state is based on an average of six sub-indexes that examine life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities. The Well-Being Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, with a score of 100 representing the ideal well-being.
According to Gallup’s results for 2013, North Dakota had the highest well-being in the nation for the year, coming in with a score of 70.4, while its neighbor, South Dakota, came in second with a score of 70. Nebraska then followed, with Minnesota coming in fourth, posting a Well-Being Index score of 69.7. Hawaii, the leader for the previous four years, sat in the No. 8 spot. North Dakota took the new lead after being among the top 10 group from 2009 to 2011 but falling short in 2012. South Dakota’s second-place finish is also notable, because it is the first time the state has even made the top 10 list since 2010. Its scores rose considerably last year.