Isles score near top as place of joy


POSTED: Thursday, March 12, 2009

In terms of happiness, Hawaii ranks just behind Utah and ahead of every other state, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.




Happy Places

        The top states for well-being, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index:

1. Utah


2. Hawaii


3. Wyoming


4. Colorado


5. Minnesota




Hawaii's second-place showing — just ahead of Wyoming — was based on its scores in six categories examining life evaluation, healthy behaviors, work environment, physical health, emotional health and access to basic necessities.

The ratings were based on the largest survey of its kind, involving 1,000 calls a night, seven days a week, to more than 350,000 adults.

Hawaii had the best scores in the country for emotional health and life evaluation and was high in three of the other subindexes. But it has the lowest-quality work environments of all 50 states, according to those interviewed.

The national average for 2008 was 65.5, Gallup-Healthways reported. No. 1 Utah had an average score of 69.2, Hawaii had 68.2, and Wyoming, 68.

Well-being across all states varied by a range of eight points, so even in the lowest-ranked states, “;there are a majority of citizens who have favorable well-being,”; Gallup-Healthways officials said in a news release.

Higher-well-being states are mostly in the West, with the exception of Nevada, which scored slightly below average and had a national rank of 38.

States with low ranking generally were in the Midwest and South. Minnesota scored highest for physical health, and New Mexico was first for healthy behaviors. Utah had the top work environment, and Massachusetts led the nation in terms of access to basic necessities.

Interviews were conducted on land-line telephones and cellular phones.

Gallup-Healthways said the survey is “;the official statistic for well-being in America, giving a daily measure of people's well-being at the close of every day based on the World Health Organization definition of health as not only the absence of infirmity and disease, but also a state of physical, mental and social well-being.”;