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The healthiest state of them all is...
February 27th, 2012
03:46 PM ET

The healthiest state of them all is...

Aloha. The state with the highest score for “well-being” is Hawaii, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a poll that surveys the physical, mental and emotional health of Americans.

With its fair weather and scenic views, Hawaii led in overall well-being as its residents were most likely to report that they had smiled and/or laughed the day before and had the lowest rates of stress and depression.

They also tended to report better eating and exercise habits, and lower smoking rates.

The poll examined people’s ratings in life evaluation (whether they saw themselves as struggling or thriving), physical health (obesity, number of sick days taken over the month), emotional health (happiness, depression, stress), healthy behaviors (smoking, eating, exercising), work environment (job satisfaction, treatment at work) and basic access (safety in the neighborhood, access to medicine, doctor, health insurance).

The poll surveyed a random sample of 353,492 adults using random-digit-dial sampling during 2011. The maximum margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point.

Here are the top five states in well-being scores:

1. Hawaii
2. North Dakota
3. Minnesota
4. Alaska
5. Utah

The top five large metropolitan areas for well-being scores were:

1. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California
2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Virginia-Maryland
3. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, California
4. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota-Wisconsin
5. Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, North Carolina-South Carolina

Geographically, Western and Midwestern states fared well in health scores while the Southern states usually sat lower. Southern states also tended to have the highest obesity rates.

The top five worst states for well-being scores:

1. West Virginia
2. Kentucky
3. Mississippi
4. Delaware
5. Ohio

If you want to see where your city ranks, check here.


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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.