Gallup surveyed 188 metropolitan areas in the United States in 2010 and then ranked the cities according to their Well-Being Index. Here is the top 5:
1. Boulder, Colorado
2. Lincoln, Nebraska
3. Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado
4. Provo-Orem, Utah
5. Honolulu, Hawaii
Here is some information on how the index was calculated:
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index score is an average of six sub-indexes, which individually examine life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities. The overall score and each of the six sub-index scores are calculated on a scale from 0 to 100, where a score of 100 represents the ideal. Gallup and Healthways have been tracking these measures daily since January 2008.
In terms of analysis of these findings, Richard Florida has some thoughts. My guess is that Florida will tie these findings to own ideas about the creative class, a group that tends to live in cities that are college towns, have younger populations, higher level of innovation, and more cultural opportunities.
(A side note: I’m not sure who came up with the headline for Florida’s thoughts but calling these “America’s New Happiest Cities” may not exactly be the same things as measuring “well-being.” The Gallup index goes beyond “life evaluation” and “emotional health” to include other factors like physical health and workplace environment.)