​Happiest Healthiest States: Americans In Alaska Score Highest For Happiest In Gallup

Author: John LesterBy:
Staff Reporter
Feb, 19, 2015 | 9:50 PM

The happiest and healthiest American states seem to point to the north. According to the Gallup Happiness Index, the happiest are the residents who live in Alaska, scoring highest on a series of rankings called the “five essential elements of well-being.” Those five rankings are:

  • 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

The happiest and healthiest American states all point to the north. That is, if you want to be the happiest citizen, your best bet may be getting as far away as possible from your Mainland neighbors. It’s the first time Alaska has topped the poll, but what makes Alaska so special?

Well, residents get a lot of free money from their government and it’s hard to put a price tag on ample access to pristine wilderness and wide open spaces. Then again, “The Last Frontier” is home to rugged weather conditions and seemingly endless seasonal nights. But when it comes to the combination of tight-knit communities, a purpose driven existence and braving the elements, there’s something undeniably special about Alaska.

The other happiest and healthiest areas to live also includes the pacified islands and the rocky mountains. Hawaii and Colorado have made the top 10 every year since Gallup first started compiling the Happiest Index back in 2007. According to USA Today, residents of those states, the analytics might seem obvious: temperate weather, natural resources and a strong sense of cultural independence.

Of course, consistency is not always something to celebrate. West Virginia and Kentucky have been lurking in the bottom two rankings for six straight years. Arkansas, Ohio, and Mississippi have also been in the bottom 10 since the index first launched.

As surprising as it might be to some to see Alaska coming out on top, the biggest shock might be North Dakota. They topped the poll last year, but dropped all the way down to number 23 in this year’s healthiest rankings.

Other than bragging rights, what do the rankings really tell us about our home states? Gallup says the Well-Being Index tells us a lot about how we live our lives and our potential for personal happiness.

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