Friday, March 13, 2009

Happiness and Well-Being by U.S. State

The new Gallup-Healthways Well Being index is available. The index is an attempt to “measure what it is that people believe constitutes a good life, who is feeling good about life, and who is in need of a helping hand,” and has 6 sub-scales: life evaluation, emotional health, physical health, healthy behavior, work environment and basic access.

Here are a few interesting facts about well-being in the U.S.:
  1. People in Utah report the highest levels of well-being; Wes Virginia the lowest.
  2. There is only a small (but statistically significant) positive relationship between median income and well-being.
  3. My home state (California) falls behind Wyoming and Utah.
  4. In terms of healthy behavior (one of the many reports you can generate from the survey's web page) is lowest in the southern states.
  5. In terms of emotional health, those states closest to the Canadian border score higher than do those in the south.

The Canadian Institute for Advanced Research has a group that studies well-being and happiness.

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