This week, Gallup and Sharecare released 2017 results from the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index, which found significant declines in well-being across U.S. states. Findings painted a bleak picture of the well-being of Americans with zero states improving well-being by a statistically significant measure – marking a first in the nearly 10-year history of the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index.
Despite the national downturn, the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index found improvement in several traditional measures of physical health in 2017, such as the proportion of Americans reporting participation in regular exercise, abstention from smoking and being overweight. Community well-being – defined as liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community – also improved for Americans between 2016 and 2017.
Although improvements in certain physical health categories and community well-being signal progress, the sharp declines in overall well-being were driven by drops in purpose and social well-being metrics, as well as the mental health aspects of physical well-being. Out of a possible score of 100, the national Well-Being Index score dropped from 62.1 in 2016 to 61.5 in 2017, marking the largest year-over-year decline since the index began in 2008.
- South Dakota claimed the top spot, with a well-being score of 64.1 out of 100 possible points.
- Vermont followed closely at number two, sharing a rounded score of 64.1 with South Dakota.
- Hawaii ranked third, with a score of 63.4, making it one of only two states that have ranked in the top 10 every year since Sharecare and Gallup began measuring well-being in 2008.
Although purpose and social well-being declines led to lower scores among most U.S. states, high scores in purpose well-being in South Dakota and social well-being in Vermont catapulted these two states into their top positions in 2017. Hawaii also placed among the top four states for purpose, social and community well-being, and is the only state in the country that ranked in the top 10 across all elements of well-being in 2017. South Dakota, Vermont and Hawaii have consistently ranked highly as “well-being elite” states since the inception of the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index.
To learn more and see where your state ranks, download the full report.