The United States is the 13th happiest place in the world. But, within this land of great diversity and variety, where is best to set up camp in your pursuit of happiness?
Gallup-Healthways' have just released their newest Community Well-Being Index, showing the places in the US that score the highest when it comes to well-being, health, and happiness.
The index focuses on five well-being factors: Purpose, social, financial, community, and physical. The data was drawn from more than 354,473 telephone interviews across all 50 states, conducted between January 2, 2015, and December 30, 2016. This was then all added together to create a score out of 100.
You can check out the full findings in the Community Well-Being Index 2016.
The highest ranking community for the second consecutive year was Naples-Immokalee-Marco Islands in Florida. This breezy seaside area was in the top five ranking for all of the well-being factors, except for financial well-being. This area was closely followed by Barnstable Town in Massachusetts, Santa Cruz-Watsonville in California, Urban Honolulu in Hawaii, and Charlottesville in Virginia.
The rest of the top 10 were as follows:
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA
Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC
You might notice that the majority of these areas, especially those towards the top of the chart, are all coastal communities, just a short skip from the ocean. That’s perhaps no surprise considering previous scientific studies have found a link between living by the sea and positive mental health. All of these coastal communities tended to do pretty well in the fields of "social", "community", and "physical." On the other hand, the higher scoring inland communities generally scored very well when it to came to "purpose", which the report defines as "liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals."
The state containing the most communities with a high well-being ranking was California (shown to have seven communities in the top 25), followed by Colorado (three), Texas (three), Florida (two), and Virginia (two).
On the other end of the spectrum, the worst scoring communities, in order, were as following:
Fort Smith, AR-OK
Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX