Alaska takes the top spot for highest well-being in the nation in 2014

Gallup and Healthways began tracking well-being in 2008, and while some states have consistently been at the top of the list each year, this is the first time Alaska was ranked number one. Hawaii made the number two spot for the sixth time – somehow that isn’t too surprising (this coming from one of the […]

Gallup and Healthways began tracking well-being in 2008, and while some states have consistently been at the top of the list each year, this is the first time Alaska was ranked number one. Hawaii made the number two spot for the sixth time – somehow that isn’t too surprising (this coming from one of the many people currently stuck in frigid temperatures). Weather isn’t a factor in this measurement of well-being, though.

So how does the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index collect its data?

These state-level data are based on more than 176,000 interviews with U.S. adults across all 50 states, conducted from January to December 2014. The Well-Being Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest possible well-being and 100 represents the highest possible well-being. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index score for the nation and for each state consists of metrics affecting overall well-being and each of the five essential elements of well-being:

  • Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
  • Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
  • Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  • Community: liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community
  • Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

As the Gallup-Healthways map indicates, there are clearly trends within regions of the country for general well-being.

“Well-being is a metric that every government and business leader should have on their dashboard because it has been linked to so many important outcomes,” said Janet Calhoun, senior vice president of strategy, innovations and solutions at Healthways, according to Business Wire. “We have the unique ability to gather essential insights at individual, business and community levels, providing companies with a lens into where there are opportunities for meaningful change within a population. Because there is no one-size-fits-all approach to well-being improvement, measuring well-being is a critical first step in developing strategies to achieve results and to create a culture of well-being.”