WASHINGTON & NASHVILLE, Tenn. (March 7, 2017) — World-leading analytics and advice firm, Gallup, and global well-being improvement leader, Healthways, a Sharecare company, have released new research that ranks the well-being of 189 U.S. communities. The research encompasses the five elements of well-being — purpose, social, financial, community and physical — and other important health metrics in these cities. Through a nationally representative daily survey of 500 American adults, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® reveals the health and well-being of U.S. communities, helping to inform public and private efforts toward improving well-being in cities nationwide.
Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida, is the community with the highest overall well-being in 2016, its second consecutive time atop the rankings. Barnstable Town, Massachusetts, is the No. 2 community, followed by Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California; Urban Honolulu, Hawaii; Charlottesville, Virginia; North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida; and San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, California. In 2016, communities in California occupy seven spots in the top 25, while Colorado, Texas, Florida and Virginia each have at least two communities in this elite tier. There is strong historical consistency, as 17 communities from the top 25 in 2015 returned to the top 25 in 2016.
At the opposite end of the ranking, California, Ohio, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Texas each had multiple communities that placed in the lowest 25. Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma; Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, North Carolina; and Huntington-Ashland, West Virginia-Kentucky-Ohio, are the communities with the lowest well-being in 2016. Fort Smith has the country’s lowest social, financial and physical well-being in 2016, while Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont, is the lowest in purpose well-being and Fayetteville, North Carolina, is the lowest in community well-being.
As previously reported, the national prevalence of several chronic diseases — obesity (28.4%), depression (17.8%) and diabetes (11.6%) — continued to increase in 2016. Communities with low well-being tend to have higher rates of chronic disease, but there is evidence that these trends can be reversed. Previous Gallup-Healthways research demonstrates that communities that invest in bike paths, parks, walkability and public transit have residents who have better outcomes in the major aspects of health and well-being.
“As a health system caring for the people of southwest Florida, we are actively improving well-being, not only by managing illness and injury, but also by identifying ways in which we can create a healthier and more active community for all our residents. We are bringing together schools, grocery stores, restaurants, employers, civic organizations and other groups in a true cross-community collaboration,” says Allen S. Weiss, M.D., president and CEO of NCH Healthcare System. “15,000 early adopters (and counting) have joined us in this grassroots transformation — momentum that underscores our residents’ commitment to living their healthiest lives.”
“Community, business and healthcare leaders across the nation are stepping up as champions, making strategic decisions to help their populations live and work better, and promoting the lifestyle changes that keep us well,” says Karissa Price, president of Healthways. “These leaders know that investments in well-being have a measurable and sustainable impact on the local community, as well as far-reaching benefits that impact the health of our nation.”
The community well-being rankings data are based on a subset of 354,473 telephone interviews with U.S. adults across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, conducted from Jan. 2, 2015 to Dec. 30, 2016. For more information and to access the complete report, visit www.well-beingindex.com/2016-community-rankings.
About the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being IndexÒ
In 2008, Gallup and Healthways initiated a 25-year partnership merging decades of clinical research and development expertise, health leadership and behavioral economics research to track and understand the key factors that drive well-being. Together, the partnership has built the world’s largest data set on well-being, with over 2.5 million surveys fielded to date.
Launched that same year, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® provides unmatched, in-depth insight into the well-being of populations. Gallup conducts 500 telephone interviews a day with Americans to gather their perceptions of well-being for a resulting sample that projects to an estimated 95% of all U.S. adults.
Gallup delivers analytics and advice to help leaders and organizations solve their most pressing problems. Combining more than 80 years of experience with its global reach, Gallup knows more about the attitudes and behaviors of employees, customers, students and citizens than any other organization in the world.
Healthways, a Sharecare company, is a global provider of well-being improvement solutions. Dedicated to creating a healthier world one person at a time, the company uses the science of behavior change to produce and measure positive change in well-being for our customers, which include employers, integrated health systems, hospitals, physicians, health plans, communities and government entities. Learn more at www.healthways.com.