Hawaii Ranks High in Health and Happiness

December 2, 2010, 9:46 AM HST · Updated December 2, 9:46 AM
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Looking for a place to live that will enhance your health and happiness? According to the latest Gallup Poll, Honolulu, Hawaii is the place to be. This city had the highest rate of well being in the country in 2009, passing the 2008 winner Utah for improved health and happiness. It joins the ranks of other happy spots across the country, including Boulder, Colorado, Holland, Michigan and Santa Rosa, California. Honolulu offers the highest concentration of generally happy residents, which often translates to a higher number of healthy residents as well.

The Gallup-Health Ways Well-Being Index

The Gallup-Health Ways Well-Being Index interviewed 350,000 residents across the country in 2009, assessing them on the following factors:

  • Finances
  • Physical health
  • Mental outlook
  • Job opportunities
  • Communities

The final score for each city reflects an average of six-subsets that include, physical and emotional health, healthy behaviors, life evaluation, work environment and access to basic necessities. The majority of the cities that rated high were in the west and Midwest areas of the country, with the majority of the cities that rated low located in the southern region.

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Why Hawaii Won

There are a number of reasons why Hawaii may have scored so high on the latest Gallup Poll, including:

  • Access to beaches all year long
  • Plenty of opportunities for outdoor sports and activities
  • Good weather most of the year
  • A plethora of tropical fruit selections
  • Choices in post-secondary education
  • An efficient public transportation system

Factors like a major university or state capitol, like Honolulu, seemed to boost cities in the ratings. In addition, the state of Hawaii is working hard to improve other areas, including smoking prevention programs, better access to health care and reduction of environmental hazards. With public agencies designed to improve the quality of life in Hawaii even further, officials and residents of the state are optimistic that Hawaii will continue to rank high in terms of overall quality of life, as well as physical and mental health.

What the Numbers Indicate

The Gallup Poll was not intended to breed competition among cities vying for new residents and visitors. Instead, the data collected from the study will primarily be used to provide government policy-makers, community leaders and health care providers with the necessary information to determine where to implement programs and services to help residents improve their quality of life overall.

Residents of Hawaii always knew they lived in the best place in the country. Thanks to a recent Gallup Poll, now others around the nation will know about the many advantages to living in Hawaii as well.

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