Other Than Hawaii, North Dakota Is the Place to Be

The two states top Gallup's latest well-being index

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Doesn't the above image look ruggedly appealing? It's the sun rising over frigid North Dakota plains. While we wouldn't have pegged it as the state with almost the highest well-being, Gallup does in its new survey. Hawaii topped the polling outfit's index, but North Dakota trailed as a very close second. While Hawaii dominated measures for emotional and physical health (methodology here), people in North Dakota seem very satisfied with their work environment (which factors in ratings of job satisfaction and supervisor treatment), leading the state to a top rating by that measure.

Hawaii, on the other hand, is the place where you'll find citizens in a good mood. In March, The New York Times got Gallup to give them a "statistical composite" for the country's "happiest" person, which turned out to be a hypothetical 65 year-old Asian-American making more than $120,000 and living in Hawaii. The unhappiest person, the newspaper later suggested using the same data, would live in West Virginia. Unsurprisingly, in Gallup's latest survey, West Virginia still ranks at the bottom of the well-being rankings. Here's the whole nation's well-being at a glance:

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.