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Survey: Utahns' well-being 4th in the nation

Published February 27, 2012 12:50 pm

Polling • Americans are asked about everything from their workplace to their healthy habits.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Utah ranked 4th in the nation for the overall well-being of its residents in 2011, as Hawaii kept the top spot for the third year in a row.

The new 2011 rankings come from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which polls thousands of Americans to evaluate their behavior and satisfaction in several topic areas. A score of 100 represents ideal well-being.

Hawaii posted the top score at 70.2, followed by North Dakota at 70.0, Minnesota at 69.2, and Utah and Alaska both at 69.0.

West Virginia residents had the lowest overall well-being score, at 62.3.

Utah was in the top 10 states for its economic confidence index, which is based on how state residents rated the country's current conditions and the outlook for the future. It was number one for being the most Republican state.

The top states in the underlying topic areas include: Alaska for life evaluation, Hawaii for emotional health, North Dakota for work environment, Minnesota for physical health, and Hawaii for healthy behaviors.

Utah's scores on those five subjects included three top-ten finishes.

• Life evaluation. Score: 54.1, national rank: 5.

• Emotional health questions, which probe happiness, sadness and depression levels, among other issues. Score: 80.2, rank 12.

• Work environment. Score: 50.2, rank 5.

• Physical health (number of sick days taken over the past month, disease rates and obesity). Score: 77.9, rank: 17.

• Healthy behaviors (smoking, eating, and exercise habits). Score: 66.3, rank: 6.

Utah also ranked in the top ten for residents' access to basic necessities, including medical care. Score: 85.1, rank 8.

Further details on the surveys' findings are available at http://www.well-beingindex.com.

Gallup.com will be releasing additional findings this week and next.

• Wednesday: Obesity and chronic disease by state

• Mon., March 5: Well-being iIndex scores by metropolitan area

• Wed., March 7: Obesity and chronic disease by metropolitan area

• Fri., March 9: City optimism by metropolitan area

Gallup, a behavioral science authority, and Healthways, a well-being improvement company, conducted the surveys with more than 350,000 Americans between January and December 2011.