Special Report

America’s 18 Most Miserable States

Methodology

To determine America’s most miserable states, 24/7 Tempo analyzed the results of the 2019 Gallup Well-Being Index. States were ranked on their overall Well-Being Index score. It comprises five metrics that affect overall well-being:

1. Career — liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
2. Social — having supportive relationships and love in your life
3. Financial — managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
4. Community — liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community
5. Physical — having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

Survey results from Gallup were paired with other socioeconomic data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the FBI, and other sources. Data on median annual household income, college and high school attainment rates, commuting patterns, poverty rate, shares of households earning less than $10,000 or more than $200,000, and income inequality came from the Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey. Data on violent crime and property crime rates came from the FBI’s 2019 Uniform Crime Report.

State rankings on other well-being and security measures, including but not limited to physical well-being, financial security, food and health care access, came from the Community Well-Being Index, a joint Sharecare, health and wellness engagement platform, and Boston University School of Public Health program. All data are for the most recent period available.