Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Nov 10th 2010 at 4:30pm UTC

The Well-Being Map

Here’s a new map of well-being for America’s 350-plus metro areas. It’s based on surveys with more than one million Americans from data from the Gallup-Heathways Well-Being Index. Well-being follows the same basic bicoastal pattern as income, human capital, and the creative class, being higher on the coasts than in the Midwest and Sunbelt.

The chart above shows the top performers in the sub-categories that make up the overall Well-Being Index. Smaller metros and college towns – like Boulder and Santa Fe – do especially well.

6 Responses to “The Well-Being Map”

  1. Michael Wells Says:

    The first thing I noticed is the Portland metro area, where I live. Portland and the Oregon counties South of it ranked high, but Vancouver, Washington just across the Columbia is lower range. I don’t really know why.

    The other surprise is that 60% of the best performers are on the edge of the Rockies (Colorado, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah) – better than either coast. Boulder seems a poster child for exercise, which links directly to lower blood pressure, obesity and diabetes.

    Not as surprising, half of the worst performers are either in Ohio or Texas. The mirror image of Boulder seems to be Springfield, Ohio with low exercise and happiness, high smoking and asthma – again, probably all related.

    The three behavior indicators (exercise, health eating and smoking) are at least indirectly linked to the diseases and mental states.

  2. Michael Wells Says:

    The best city for uninsured had to be in Massachusetts, the only state with mandated health insurance. Why Worcester(pronounced Woos-tah)is lowest may have to do with the levels of employer provided care, the U Mass Med School there, above average union membership — does anyone know?

  3. Tom Hubbard Says:

    Where can I see a larger version of this map? I live in Columbus, Ohio.

  4. Joe Hoff Says:

    It looks to me that the upper Mid-west (Minnesota, Iowa) and most of Kansas are performing well.

  5. Holly Says:

    Is there any further information about Ithaca? Sure it has higher education, but what exactly is putting it on the map over other higher education towns?

  6. Michael Wells Says:

    Where’s Ithica in this? The big higher ed town I see on the chart is Boulder.