What's not to love about Alaska? Breathtaking scenery, welcoming communities, adventures around every corner - and currently, less snow than the East Coast. But did you know there's more to love? Alaska now leads the United States in well-being. That's right - the Last Frontier is the happiest state in America!
According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, in 2014 Alaska residents had the highest well-being in the nation, surpassing other awesome states like Hawaii, Utah, and Montana. States were ranked on each of the five essential elements of well-being:
- Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
- Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
- Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
- Community: liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community
- Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily
I've got to admit - I'm not too surprised my home state of Alabama didn't place higher on the list. Though you'd think copious amounts of Chick-Fil-A and Krispy Kreme would make folks happier, the Heart of Dixie still ranked 45th out of 50 states.
To me, Alaska leads the pack because we Alaskans feel a strong connection to our communities and natural surroundings, plus our outdoor pursuits are exceptional and world-class (like skiing, hiking, hunting, fishing). And even though the cost of living here is substantially higher than in the Lower 48, families in general make more money and have a bit more disposable income, oil royalties from the Permanent Fund Dividend.
All in all, Alaska is a wonderful place to live. Wanna get happy? Try Alaska.