2017 was a challenging year for many Americans. The well-being of the average American dropped more in 2017 than in any year since the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index began tracking it in 2008.
The Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index is based on interviews with over 160,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, and is intended to capture how people feel about their lives and what they experience on a daily basis. The index consists of five categories: sense of purpose, social relationships, financial security, relationship to community, and physical health.
Scores in each category vary greatly across the country. While residents in the Northeast, West, and Upper Midwest generally enjoy the highest levels of well-being in the country, the South and the Rust Belt are home to most states with the lowest well-being — and the regional divide is growing.
To determine America’s happiest and most miserable states, 24/7 Wall St. analyzed the results of the Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index. Survey results from Gallup were paired with other socioeconomic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, and other sources.