Are you someone who feels that Hawaii would have to be the ultimate place to live? The perfect weather, the year-round outdoor activities, the pristine beach a short ride away?
Are you one of those people who wonder why anybody bothers to live in Hawaii, what with the cost of living–gas, groceries, housing, utilities? I know my dad was one of them. He would just shake his head and say, “I don’t get it.”
Now come the results of the Gallup – Healthways “Well – Being Index” report, released early this year. Hawaii is one of the top 10 states for well-being for the seventh straight year. Number one? Alaska. (And I, like my dad, would say “I don’t get it.” Perhaps you Alaskans can set me straight.)
The only other state besides Hawaii to finish in the top 10 every year since Gallup and Healthways began their studies in 2008, is Colorado.
What did it take to reach the top? 176,000 residents of 50 states were polled in 2014, according to a press release. They were asked to assess their lives in these five categories:
1) Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals.
2) Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life.
3) Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security.
4) Community: liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community.
5) Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily.
As I say each time one of these polls is released, you just can’t beat megadoses of vitamin D from the sun….and Hawaii lead in two categories – physical and financial. South Dakota was the only other state to lead in two categories – social and community.
The three states with the lowest well – being level in 2014 were: West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana. (And this was before Indiana’s recent landmark legislation that had lawmakers from other states threatening to boycott the state.)
Five of the bottom 10 – West Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Ohio and Kentucky – have finished there every year since the poll has been conducted.
I will say upfront that I grew up in Indiana and you could almost see the vapor trail behind me, I was in such a hurry to leave those winters behind. There’s a price paid for leaving your home state and becoming a vagabond though–I’ve lived in four states–and that price is never truly feeling at home. My sister has never left Indiana, and in fact teaches at the same Junior High that we attended, and the payoff is that she is still in touch with many of the people we went to school with….while I have forgotten many of their names. She feels at home, because she is at home.
Any thoughts on this poll? When we saw our tax accountant this year, she told us that she is only out in the sun about twice a year here. She simply works that much. Bet she has her financial life together, though.
A hui hou! If you’d like to stay in the loop, please click the “Follow” button on the Homepage, or to the right.