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Hawaii Retains Title As Happiest U.S. State

An assessment of health and well-being of Americans in 2011, otherwise known as Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, provided by Gallup and Healthways, reveals that among the 50 U.S. states, Hawaii, with a score of 70.2, tops the list with the highest level of well-being. This is the third year in a row that Hawaii has come in first.

Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index score, an indicator of the happiest states, is an average of six sub-indices, including life evaluation, emotional health, physical health, healthy behavior, work environment, and basic access to necessities like clean and safe water, medicine and health insurance coverage, to name a few. The well-being is measured on a scale of 0 to 100, where a score of 100 would represent ideal well-being.

The top ten states on the Well-Being Index scorecard are as follows:

1. Hawaii: 70.2

2. North Dakota: 70.0

3. Minnesota: 69.2

4. Utah: 69.0

5. Alaska: 69.0

6. Colorado: 68.4

7. Kansas: 68.4

8. Nebraska: 68.3

9. New Hampshire: 68.2

10. Montana: 68.0

West Virginia, with a score of 60.8, had the lowest well-being among all states.

The nation's overall well-being score in 2011 was 66.2, down from 66.8 in 2010. According to Gallup officials, the static well-being across the country, reflects the continuing sluggish economy. As many states continue to face severe fiscal problems, reductions in public services, public-sector layoffs or salary cuts, and decreases in federal aid, improving the country's well-being will be a challenge for leaders, said the report.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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