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Apparently, North Dakota is the happiest state to live in, pushing Hawaii out from its usual number one spot.
The 2013 Gallup-Healthways report indicates North Dakota is now the number one state to live in as far as well-being goes, with a final score of a 70.0 in the Well-Being Index.
The Huffington Post explains that the report is based upon a number of factors. But North Dakota ranked highest out of all the states in the physical health and work environment categories, whereas job satisfaction has decreased in Hawaii, thus bringing the Aloha State down to a sad - but still in the top ten - No. 8 spot.
Dan Witters, the research director of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, expanded on the fact that the people of North Dakota have such high job satisfaction. The state has seen a tremendous increase in oil drilling, creating a plethora of new jobs. It’s a simple calculation: job security and high-paying positions equal happier individuals.
However, the report is only based upon 176,000 interviews throughout the entire country. So, what about the people that have been hurt by the natural gas boom and not benefited from the job security? If anyone has seen the HBO documentary, Gasland, by Josh Fox, you will know that there are many U.S. citizens outraged by the natural gas movement. It is visible in the documentary how many people are being hidden below the media and ignored by major companies.
It is easy to say that the increase in drilling in North Dakota has contributed to their well-being, but I can’t help but wonder about those it has adversely affected. Regardless, North Dakota is still considered to be number one in happiness, which is great if it is accurate.
Everyday Health states a more logical reasoning to their happiness and that is the presence of agriculture in North Dakota. Dan Ehle, PhD and assistant professor of health policy and management in NYC, says the amount of agriculture that exists can “translate into greater physical activity and increased time spent outdoors, both of which can have positive effects on health.” This would make sense as to why North Dakota ranked highest in the category of physical health.
Other states to make the top 10 include: South Dakota at number two, Nebraska, Montana, Minnesota, Washington, and Colorado.
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