America’s Happiest (and Most Miserable) States

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41. Oklahoma
> Well-being index score: 65.2
> Life expectancy: 75.6 years (5th lowest)
> Obesity: 29.2% (9th highest)
> Median household income: $43,225 (10th lowest)
> Adult population with high school diploma or higher: 86.3% (19th lowest)

Oklahoma scored among the bottom in most of the well-being categories. The state was sixth from the bottom in terms of healthy behavior. Just 73.1% of respondents refrained from smoking, while just 62.2% said they ate healthily the previous day, both among the lowest percentages for all states. Perhaps due to unhealthy behaviors, Oklahoma also had the seventh-worst physical health in the country, and life expectancy at birth as of 2007 was just 75.6%, the fifth-lowest of all states. The only well-being category in which Oklahoma did not score in the bottom quartile was work environment, where the state scored higher than all but seven states. More than 82% of respondents indicated that their supervisor always cultivated an open and trusting work environment, the sixth-highest percentage of all states.

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42. Indiana
> Well-being index score: 65.1
> Life expectancy: 77.7 years (16th lowest)
> Obesity: 28.8% (13th highest)
> Median household income: $46,438 (20th lowest)
> Adult population with high school diploma or higher: 87.3% (22nd lowest)

Indiana ranked second from the bottom in terms of healthy behaviors, with only Kentucky performing worse. A mere 48.7% of state residents indicated that they exercised for a minimum of 30 minutes in three of the last seven days, the lowest percentage of all states and significantly lower than the 62.2% in top-ranked Alaska. Furthermore, just 54.1% of residents indicated that they had five or more servings of fruits and vegetables in four of the previous seven days, lower than all states except for North Dakota and Nebraska. Perhaps because of these behaviors, Indiana ranked 10th from the bottom for physical health.

43. Louisiana
> Well-being index score: 64.7
> Life expectancy: 75.4 years (4th lowest)
> Obesity: 30.9% (4th highest)
> Median household income: $41,734 (7th lowest)
> Adult population with high school diploma or higher: 82.5% (4th lowest)

Louisiana scored near the bottom in several different well-being categories. It ranked fifth lowest in terms of healthy behaviors. For instance, just 54.4% of respondents indicated that they had five or more fruit and vegetable servings in four of the past seven days, the sixth-lowest percentage of all states. The state also ranked third from the bottom for basic access to necessities. Just over three-fourths of people indicated that they had health insurance coverage, lower than all states except for Texas. It doesn’t help that the state’s median income of $41,734 was one of the lowest in 2011, and nearly $9,000 lower than the national median.

44. Ohio
> Well-being index score: 64.6
> Life expectancy: 77.5 years (13th lowest)
> Obesity: 29.5% (8th highest)
> Median household income: $45,749 (16th lowest)
> Adult population with high school diploma or higher: 88.3% (25th highest)

Ohio ranked seventh worst in the Gallup report when it came to its residents’ healthy behaviors. Nearly 28% of the population smoked, the third-highest percentage of all states. In addition, Ohio was one of just four states where less than half the respondents indicated that they exercised a minimum of 30 minutes a day in three of the previous seven days. Perhaps due to unhealthy behaviors, Ohio ranked eighth from the bottom in terms of physical health. Almost 30% of the population was considered obese based on their body mass index, the eighth-largest percentage of all states. Moreover, only 68.3% of residents indicated they felt well-rested during the prior day, the eighth-lowest percentage of all states.

45. Alabama
> Well-being index score: 64.2
> Life expectancy: 75.2 years (3rd lowest)
> Obesity: 30.4% (5th highest)
> Median household income: $41,415 (5th lowest)
> Adult population with high school diploma or higher: 82.7% (5th lowest)

Alabama ranked third from the bottom in the physical health category. A hefty 36.4% of respondents indicated they had been told by a doctor or a nurse that they had high blood pressure, while 13.6% of residents were told they had diabetes. Both figures were the third highest among all states. These could be outcomes of poor health behaviors by Alabamians. As much as 26% of Alabama residents noted they smoked, the eighth-highest percentage of all states. Meanwhile, just 50.6% of residents indicated they exercised for a minimum of 30 minutes in at least three of the past seven days, the seventh-lowest of all states. Life expectancy at birth as of 2007 was just over 75 years old, lower than all but two states. The state also ranked 10th from the bottom in terms of emotional health.