The Happiest and Healthiest States Are In the Midwest

North Dakota ranks at the top of this year's Gallup well-being poll, while West Virginia comes in last

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Ryan Creary / Getty Images/All Canada Photos

The Maah Daah Hey Trail, North Dakota.

A new Gallup survey of nationwide well-being ranks North Dakota at the top and West Virginia at the very bottom.

The annual survey interviews more 178,000 American adults from all 50 states. The well-being index scores states on various factors, including life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities. Hawaii was formerly the reigning state for the last four years, but it dropped to 8th this year. Based on the 2013 data, the states in the Midwest and West were generally the highest scoring, and the South had some of the lowest scores.

Other states reigned in their own well-being factors. For instance, Nebraska ranked highest for Life Evaluation Index, Alaska had the greatest score for Emotional Health Index, and Vermont held the top spot for Health Behaviors.

These are the top five states in the survey:

1. North Dakota
2. South Dakota
3. Nebraska
4. Minnesota
5. Montana

And these are the lowest-ranking states (starting from the bottom):

1. West Virginia
2. Kentucky
3. Mississippi
4. Alabama
5. Ohio


Article is complete B.S. I've never heard anyone utter the words, "I just can't wait to move to South Dakota!!" There's absolutely nothing in the Dakotas. If you're a person of color there's even less. I doubt there's too many people anxious to go to Fargo because of their great selection of Thai restaurants or world class art museums. Only thing you'll find in the Dakotas is land.


@mahadragon  The fact that this list made you very angry, leads me to believe you are not a very happy person. Maybe spend some time in South Dakota!


@mahadragon  Obviously, an unhappy & angry southerner. Try exercise & dieting or try midwest real estate. 


I live in one of the highest ranked states and feel that these rankings seem less impressive when you realize they only surveyed 178,000 (or vaguely 'more than') people across 50 states. That's roughly 3,560 people per state. When compared to the state with the lowest population (Wyoming) - 582,658, 3-4k hardly seems a representative amount of people to survey.