We here in Minnesota couldn’t be more proud of the strides that some of our neighboring states have taken to improve their quality of life so it’s more like — well, like ours.
Once again we’re in the top five states in the annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, as we’ve been for the past five years. As always, Hawaii ranks first, and we shan’t quibble. Utah, Colorado and Montana round out our quintet.
But look at you, Iowa! You leaped from 16 to 9 in the 50-state rankings, mostly because of how much more you enjoy your work environment. Some media reports credit the launch of Blue Zones projects in selected cities, which help citizens make healthier choices regarding their environment, policy and social networks. Blue Zones, of course, were developed by Dan Buettner, born and raised in St. Paul. Just sayin.'
Kudos, also, to Wisconsin. You improved from 22 to 20, largely on upticks in healthy behavior and work environment, but also in “life evaluation,” which means that you’re feeling better about how things are going. Physical health slipped a bit, but that’s always going to be an issue, what with all that cheese. But we love you for it. Don’t change.
South Dakota slipped from 11 to 12, despite a leap in how they evaluate their lives, from 30 to 6. That was offset by a tumble from 15 to 30 in how they regard their work environment. Always a complicated populace. Still, well done.
Oh, but North Dakota. Buddy, we need to talk. Last year, you were No. 2, besting even us. This year, you’ve plunged to 19, falling in almost every category, notably a drop from 1 to 11 in work environment, and from 3 to 26 in how your residents feel about their lives.
We’ve read the news, how the surging wealth of the oil fields also has brought crime and disease. It’s a cautionary tale, but know that we’ve got your back — or at least your eastern border.
Because we’re No. 3!