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Hawaii Tops State Happiness Ranking List Five Times in a Row

Update Date: Feb 28, 2013 10:58 AM EST

The annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index was released this past Wednesday as state citizens anticipated their state rankings. For the fifth time in a row, Hawaii proves not only to be the best vacation spot, but also the best place to settle and live. The data used to compile this list came from random phone surveys of 1,000 people daily for 350 days. Gallup asked questions regarding physical health, lifestyle choices, emotional health, work environment, basic access to health care or food, and overall life evaluation. The results were quite interesting as certain states continue to either be in the top or bottom ten.

The survey provided the overall nation and each individual state's results. The breakdown for the country was that 53% of adults described their live to be "thriving," 43.5% felt that they were "struggling" and the remaining 3.5% stated that they were "suffering." 60% of the population in Hawaii, which is well over the nation's percentage, felt that they were thriving, whereas in West Virginia, the state that ranked last, only 45% of the residents felt that they were thriving. 

The states that have been consistently in the top 10 since 2008, when the survey first started are Utah, Minnesota, Colorado and Montana. The five states that rounded up the top ten are Vermont, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Iowa and Massachusetts. The states that have been unable to leave the bottom 10 since 2008 are West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Arkansas, and Mississippi. The remaining five of the bottom 10 are Tennessee, Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Indiana.

According to the survey, the residents from the top 10 states tend to have fewer medical diseases. They have lower rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes II and chronic pain with lower numbers of smokers and higher rates of people who exercise. These residents also claim to like their jobs more often than other residents from other states.

Although certain states remained consistent throughout the years, other states took dramatic falls from 2011 to 2012. North Dakota lost its second spot to Colorado and moved down to number 19. Alaska also fell from the top ten, going from number four to number 31. Kansas drop down 10 spots, falling from seven to 17 on the list. The biggest improvement was Delaware who went all the way up to number 26 after being ranked number 47.

Healthways, which contributed to this survey is a company aimed at improving overall well-being, which includes lowering health care costs and improving productivity. This list is extremely useful because it can help states decide on what improvements they should focus on in order to make overall living better for the residents. 

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