Hawaii leads U.S. in well-being poll
Hawai'i is the best in the nation when it comes to residents having a sense of well-being, according to the 2009 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
Not only did Hawai'i take top honors among the 50 states, but the city of Honolulu ranked third out of 186 metropolitan areas surveyed.
The index is an attempt to measure health and well-being and uses a telephone survey to compile responses in several areas, including how people are doing in their physical, emotional and work lives, as well as the overall quality of life and outlook for the future.
Hawai'i had the highest index score ever recorded for a state, Gallup-Healthways said.
Hawai'i's total index score was 70.2 percent on a 100-point scale. It led the nation in three of the six sub-index areas measured (life evaluation, emotional health and physical health), and was second in healthy behavior.
Its worst scores came in work environment (fifth nationally) and basic access, a category that includes accessibility to affordable housing and fresh vegetables and fruit, safety, clean water and having a doctor (ninth).
In 2008, Hawai'i was ranked second to Utah.
Honolulu ranked only behind Boulder, Colo., and Holland-Grand Haven, Mich., in terms of well-being among cities of 20,000 or more residents. It was ranked 34th in 2008.
The researchers also looked at the nation's 486 congressional districts to see how they ranked. Hawai'i's 1st Congressional District ranked third-highest nationally after two in California.
The 2nd Congressional District, an area that includes parts of Honolulu and the Neighbor Islands, ranked 33rd.
Gallup-Healthways said the polling involved interviews with 1,100 people in Hawai'i and noted that the margin of error was about plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.