Hawaii Still Happiest And Healthiest State In The US
Hawaii has been consistently home to some of the healthiest, happiest Americans in the nation. It continues to top the Gallup-Healthways 2016 State Well-Being Rankings on Wednesday. They scored 65.2 out of 100 and have topped six times in a row.
The rankings are based on interviews with more than 177,000 Americans in all 50 states from January to December 2016. Researchers calculated the well-being score of how Americans feel about their physical health, social connections, finances, community and sense of purpose.
Hawaii has low obesity rates and very little daily stress. They exercise regularly, eat lots of produce and feel safe in their homes. They also rated best in the nation for having enough funds to do everything they needed to do.
According to Today, the top five states for over-all well-being are Hawaii, Alaska, South Dakota, Maine, and Colorado. Hawaii and Colorado have been consistently in the top 10 since the rankings began. South Dakota also keeps returning to the top dozen.
According to Live Science, some of the factors behind the increase included a rise in the percentage of Americans with health insurance in 2016. The drop in percentage of smokers also made a difference from Hawaii's 61.7 score in 2015.
West Virginia on the other hand lands last for the eighth year in a row. The state has the highest obesity and smoking rates.
They have the highest number of residents who have had high blood pressure or diabetes in their lifetime. Not only that, they also remain at the bottom of the list when it comes to financial and purpose wellbeing.
The five states at the bottom of the list were Arkansas, Indiana, Oklahoma, Kentucky and West Virginia. It shows that states in the Northern Plains and Mountain West tend to have higher well-being scores than those from the South and Midwest. Almost all of the highest obesity rates are in the South.
The survey suggests states can implement initiatives to improve their residents' well-being. For example, the Gallup-Healthways' Blue Zones Project works with grocery stores and restaurants to give customers healthy food options.