10 Best States for the Well-Being of Americans 55 and Older

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For the second year in a row, the same Western state tops the poll.

Spending your golden years in Hawaii might be a dream worth pursuing, according to a new study.

The Aloha State earned the highest score in the nation for the well-being of its residents age 55 and older, according to the latest report in the Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being series.

This marks the second year in a row that Hawaii has outranked every other state.

Gallup-Healthways’ latest report is based on more than 115,000 interviews with U.S. adults across all 50 states.

The states are scored on a scale of 0 to 100, with 100 representing the highest possible well-being.

These Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index scores reflect overall well-being and what Gallup describes as “the five essential elements of well-being”:

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

Sheri Pruitt, vice president and chief behavioral scientist at Healthways, explains:

“Our research paints a powerful picture of how we age as a population, and the important link between the physical and social aspects of well-being, especially for older Americans. When older adults thrive, they are more active, assert good physical and mental health, and achieve higher life satisfaction.”

Hawaii scored especially high for the purpose, community and physical elements in 2016.

Overall, Hawaii scored 67 this year. The lowest-ranked state, West Virginia, scored 59.9.

While that might not seem like much of a difference on a 100-point scale, Gallup notes that even a 1-point difference between two states is generally enough to be considered statistically significant.

The 10 highest-scoring states for older Americans’ well-being this year are:

  • Hawaii: Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index score of 67
  • Arizona: 65.2
  • New Hampshire: 65.2
  • North Dakota: 65.2
  • Colorado: 65.1
  • Alaska: 64.9
  • Minnesota: 64.9
  • Wisconsin: 64.9
  • Iowa: 64.7
  • South Dakota: 64.7

The 10 lowest-scoring states are:

  • West Virginia: Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index score of 59.9
  • Kentucky: 61.2
  • Oklahoma: 62
  • Ohio: 62.5
  • Indiana: 62.7
  • Vermont: 62.7
  • Georgia: 62.9
  • Missouri: 62.9
  • Arkansas: 62.9
  • New Jersey: 62.9

What do you make of these rankings? Share your thoughts below or on our Facebook page.

Stacy Johnson

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