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Kentucky was again next to last among the states in happiness and healthiness of its residents in 2011, ranking above only West Virginia, though precise rankings are uncertain. Eastern Kentucky’s Fifth Congressional District ranked at the very bottom of the 436 districts — falling in last place in the categories of life evaluation, emotional health and physical health.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index is based on a continuing national survey that asks respondents about their overall sense of well-being, physical health, happiness, job satisfaction and other factors related to quality of life.
Of the 190 cities ranked, Lexington was 95th and Louisville 152nd. Kentucky’s well-being score was 63.3 out of a possible 100 points. Hawaii again ranked first, at 70.2. West Virginia’s score was 62.3. Because there were fewer than 10 points between first and last place, the rankings are not precise.
Kentucky ranked lowest in the country in emotional health, which is based on feelings of happiness and sadness. Respondents were also asked about “physical health (chronic health conditions, obesity); lifestyle behaviors (smoking, diet and exercise); emotional health (feelings of happiness, sadness); work environment (relationship with supervisors); basic access (health care, food); and life evaluation (how they rate their lives),” reports Nanci Hellmich of USA Today.
Results were based on telephone interviews conducted between Jan. 2 and Dec. 29, 2011, producing a random sample of 353,492 adults. The margin of sampling error for most states is plus or minus 1 to 2 percentage points, but as high as plus or minus 4 points for states with small populations such as Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware and Hawaii. (Read more)