The happiest and healthiest places in the USA ranked from top to bottom

Naples, Florida is the happiest and healthiest place in the USA for the third straight year, according to the latest Wellbeing Index by Gallup.

The Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island metro area ranked highest for well-being out of 186 U.S. communities, based on data collected in 2016 and 2017 as part of the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index. It was followed by Barnstable Town, Massachusetts, and Boulder, Colorado. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California; and Charlottesville, Virginia, round out the top five.

According to the report, the Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest possible well-being and 100 represents the highest possible well-being. The Well-Being Index score for each community is made up of metrics based on five essential elements of well-being:

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 researchers surveyed more than 337,000 people across America.

The 10 highest wellbeing communities and their scores:

Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL — 67.6
Barnstable Town, MA — 66.4
Boulder, CO — 65.3
Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA — 65.1
Charlottesville, VA — 65.0
Lynchburg, VA — 64.9
North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL — 64.6
Santa Rosa, CA — 64.6
Prescott, AZ — 64.6
San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA — 64.6

The highest well-being metro areas are scattered across the Eastern Seaboard as well as the Mountain West and West. The lowest well-being metro areas were found primarily in the South and winding north up through the industrial Midwest.

Each of the top five communities have ranked in the top 10 in previous years, and similarly, most of the lowest ranking communities have consistently been near the bottom in previous years.

The 10 lowest wellbeing communities and their scores:

Fort Smith, AR-OK — 58.2
Canton-Massillon, OH — 58.3
Gulfport-Biloxi-Pascagoula, MS — 58.6
Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC — 58.6
Binghamton, NY — 58.9
South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI — 59.2
Erie, PA — 59.2
Fayetteville, NC — 59.3
Rockford, IL — 59.5
Flint, MI — 59.5 points out that, while high-income communities tend to report higher well-being, it’s not a guarantee of high ranking.

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