November 19, 2017

Economix Blog: The Happiest States of America: North Dakota on the Rise

North Dakota is not only the most employment-rich state in the country. It’s also on its way to becoming the happiest.

According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, based on a daily survey of Americans that tries to measure the elements of “the good life,” North Dakota is the second happiest state, behind Hawaii. (Hawaii has been the happiest state for a while now.) North Dakota has been in the Top 10 list for the last couple of years, but has been steadily climbing its way upward.

North Dakota’s Well-Being Index score has also moved up proportionally more than any other state in the last year.

CATHERINE RAMPELL

CATHERINE RAMPELL

Dollars to doughnuts.

The index is based on an average of six component indices, which reflect Americans’ answers to questions about how they evaluate their lives; their emotional health; how they feel about their work environment; their physical health; the kinds of healthy behaviors they do (or don’t) engage in; and how much access they have to basic necessities. Perhaps not surprisingly, given the state’s fleet-footed job growth, North Dakota’s score benefited most from respondents’ views of their work environment.

Poor West Virginia once again claimed the lowest rank in the latest Well-Being Index report, a spot where it has languished for several years. In general, Southern and Rust Belt states rank lowest on this index, while the Plains states and Pacific states rank best, as shown in the interactive map above.

The latest scores are based on daily polls conducted from January through June 2011, in which more than 177,000 American adults were surveyed.

Article source: http://feeds.nytimes.com/click.phdo?i=59458494072f6b314d98dfd50c749964