Taking the nation's well-being pulse: How's your state or industry doing?
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index is a daily assessment of U.S. residents' health and well-being. At least 500 U.S. adults are interviewed daily, offering a real-time measurement of the nation's well-being. The Gallup Well-Being Index is comprised of six sub-indexes that include 55 individual items that collectively measure Americans' physical, emotional, and fiscal wellbeing.
You can download in-depth 2012 state well-being reports, which include city and congressional district level findings for each state.
Here are two recent reports issued. The first compares serious health issues across states, and the second measures well-being factors against industry sectors.
State-level data are based on daily surveys conducted from January through December 2012, including interviews with more than 350,000 Americans nationwide and at least 1,000 residents in each state except Alaska and Hawaii. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index summarizes more than 50 different wellbeing items and is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where a score of 100 represents ideal wellbeing.
This report lists states with the highest and lowest rates for obesity, blood pressure and diabetes. In addition, some key findings include:
- The national obesity rate remained steady at 26.2% in 2012, compared with 26.1% in 2011, but is still higher than the 2008 average of 25.5%
- More than 2 in 10 adults are obese in all but one U.S. state (Colorado) and in five U.S. states -- West Virginia, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama -- more than 3 in 10 adults are obese
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that obesity alone costs about $147 billion annually
- An average of 29.3% of American adults said they had ever been diagnosed with high blood pressure in 2012, compared with 30% in 2011, but exactly on par with the 2008 national average
- An average of 11% of Americans reported ever being diagnosed with diabetes last year, unchanged from 2011
Report findings are based on more than 170,000 interviews conducted from January through December 2012 with employed Americans at least 18 years of age as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
In the United States, physicians lead all major occupational groups in overall wellbeing, followed by school teachers and business owners. Transportation workers have the lowest wellbeing scores, behind manufacturing and production workers.
Some of the factors that they used in the index were comparisons of occupations that were:
- Most/least likely to say they use their strengths to do what they do best every day
- Most/least likely to say their supervisor is more like a partner than a boss at their workplace, just ahead of managers or executives
- Leading/lagging in weekly exercise
- Highest/lowest healthy eating habits (fruits and vegetable consumption)
- Highest/lowest risk combination of obesity, smoking
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