In Pursuit of Happiness? Go West!

By Bradley Blackburn

Feb 15, 2010 12:45pm

ABC's Bradley Blackburn blogs from New York: Westerners are happier people, if a new survey is to be believed. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index just completed a huge survey of over 350,000 Americans, and they found that folks who live in Western cities are some of the happiest and healthiest in the nation. Boulder, Co. came in as the city with the highest well-being, with the best work experience for residents and an environment that promotes healthy behavior and physical health. Of the top 10 happiest cities, 8 are located in the western part of the country. Only second-place finisher Grand Haven, Mich. and the eighth-ranked Washington, D.C. metro area are located in the Eastern or Central time zones. The states with the highest overall well-being are also out west – #1 Hawaii, #2 Utah, and #3 Montana. The worst-off town of those surveyed in the poll? Huntington, WV, which came in at #162. It scored poorly in emotional health, physical health, and basic access to necessities like food, medicine, and health insurance. New York City ranked #94 in the survey, so maybe some of us NY-based World News staffers should consider a jump to the DC bureau. Or, we could just take solace in an old quote from Mark Twain, "Sanity and happiness are an impossible combination."
See where your city ranks below: Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index Survey 2009 City Composite Rankings 1. Boulder, CO 2. Holland-Grand Haven, MI 3. Honolulu, HI 4. Provo-Orem, UT 5. Santa Rosa-Petaluma, CA 6. Santa Barbara-Santa Maria-Goleta, CA 7. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA 8. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 9. Ogden-Clearfield, UT 10. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA 11. Naples-Marco Island, FL 12. Cedar Rapids, IA 13. Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood, TX 14. Bremerton-Silverdale, WA 15. Raleigh-Cary, NC 16. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA 17. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI 18. Lancaster, PA 19. Lexington-Fayette, KY 20. Norwich-New London, CT 21. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA 22. Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, ME 23. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, CA 24. Binghamton, NY 25. Boise City-Nampa, ID 26. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, CT 27. Durham, NC 28. Kennewick-Pasco-Richland, WA 29. Des Moines-West Desmoines, IA 30. Eugene-Springfield, OR 31. Trenton-Ewing, NJ 32. Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, MA-NH 33. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA 34. Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News, VA-NC 35. Madison, WI 36. Tallahassee, FL 37. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA 38. Kansas City, MO-KS 39. San Antonio, TX 40. Anchorage, AK 41. Ann Arbor, MI 42. Colorado Springs, CO 43. Huntsville, AL 44. Wichita, KS 45. Bangor, ME 46. Medford, OR 47. Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 48. Gainesville, FL 49. Jackson, MS 50. San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos, CA 51. Denver-Aurora, CO 52. Baton Rouge, LA 53. Wilmington, NC 54. Austin-Round Rock, TX 55. Tucson, AZ 56. Charleston-N Charleston-Summerville, SC 57. Salem, OR 58. Yakima, WA 59. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, CT 60. Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN 61. Davenport-Moline-Rock Island, IA-IL 62. Duluth, MN-WI 63. Barnstable Town, MA 64. Prescott, AZ 65. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ 66. Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville, CA 67. Salt Lake City, UT 68. Columbia, SC 69. Harrisburg-Carlisle, PA 70. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, OR-WA 71. Fort Collins-Loveland, CO 72. Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC-SC 73. Lansing-East Lansing, MI 74. Omaha-Council Bluffs, NE-IA 75. Bellingham, WA 76. Augusta-Richmond County, GA-SC 77. Grand Rapids-Wyoming, MI 78. Orlando-Kissimmee, FL 79. Albany-Schenectady-Troy, NY 80. Lincoln, NE 81. Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, TX 82. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, CA 83. Atlantic City-Hammonton, NJ 84. El Paso, TX 85. Myrtle Beach-North Myrtle Beach-Conway, SC 86. Baltimore-Towson, MD 87. Albuquerque, NM 88. Asheville, NC 89. Roanoke, VA 90. Chicago-Naperville-Joilet, ILIN-WI 91. St. Louis, MO-IL 92. Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, WI 93. Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 94. Olympia, WA 95. McAllen-Edinburg-Mission, TX 96. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL 97. Peoria, IL 98. Indianapolis-Carmel, IN 99. Oklahoma City, OK 100. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 101. Salinas, CA 102. York-Hanover, PA 103. Richmond, VA 104. Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ 105. Springfield, MO 106. Vallejo-Fairfield, CA 107. Green Bay, WI 108. Columbus, OH 109. Manchester-Nashua, NH 110. New York-North New Jersey-Long Island, NY-NJ-PA 111. Fayetteville, Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO 112. Spokane, WA 113. Pittsburgh, PA 114. Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, FL 115. Greensboro-High Point, NC 116. Memphis, TN-MS-AR 117. Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX 118. Knoxville, TN 119. Reading, PA 120. Cincinnati-Middletown, OH-KY-IN 121. Rochester, NY 122. Fresno, CA 123. Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL 124. Little Rock-N Little Rock-Conway, AR 125. Port St. Lucie, FL 126. South Bend-Mishawaka, IN-MI 127. Springfield, MA 128. Syracuse, NY 129. Worcester, MA 130. Lynchburg, VA 131. Buffalo-Niagara Falls, NY 132. Birmingham-Hoover, AL 133. Rockford, IL 134. Tulsa, OK 135. Visalia-Porterville, CA 136. Montgomery, AL 137. New Orleans-Metairie-Kenner, LA 138. Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI 139. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL 140. Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 141. Chico, CA 142. Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, SC 143. Kalamazoo-Portage, MI 144. Stockton, CA 145. Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor, OH 146. Akron, OH 147. Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN 148. Poughkeepsie-Newburgh-Middletown, NY 149. Reno-Sparks, NV 150. Jacksonville, FL 151. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL 152. Canton-Massillon, OH 153. Winston-Salem, NC 154. Chattanooga, TN-GA 155. Corpus Christi, TX 156. Fayetteville, NC 157. Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL 158. Redding, CA 159. Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, RI-MA 160. Ocala, FL 161. Dayton, OH 162. Scranton–Wilkes-Barre, PA 163. New Haven-Milford, CT 164. Savannah, GA 165. Las Vegas-Paradise, NV 166. Mobile, AL 167. Fort Wayne, IN 168. Hagerstown-Martinsburg, MDWV 169. Erie, PA 170. Utica-Rome, NY 171. Toledo, OH 172. Topeka, KS 173. Bakersfield, CA 174. Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, FL 175. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC 176. Evansville, IN-KY 177. Shreveport-Bossier City, LA 178. Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol, TNVA 179. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, OH-PA 180. Flint, MI 181. Charleston, WV 182. Modesto, CA 183. Johnstown, PA 184. Lake Havasu City-Kingman, AZ 185. Huntington-Ashland, WV-KYOH 186. Fort Smith, AR-OK

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