Delaware moves up to No. 8 in Gallup ‘well-being’ poll

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After two years near the bottom of the annual survey study, Delaware leapt dramatically to Number 8 on the just-released 2018 Gallup State Well-Being Index. Gallup, Inc. is an American think tank and pollster.

Delaware ranked 40th just last year and 40th the year before. In 2015 and 2014 the state fared a bit better at 27th and 28th respectively, but the 2018 result was Delaware’s best showing on the index in as many years.

The state index data are based on more than 115,000 surveys with U.S. adults across all 50 states, conducted in all 12 months of 2018, noted Gallup.

The Well-Being Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest possible wellbeing and 100 represents the highest possible wellbeing.

The Well-Being Index score for the nation and for each state comprises metrics affecting overall wellbeing and each of these five alleged elements of wellbeing:

• Career: 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

Pulling Delaware up the list this year, it scored highest in the “social” and “financial” categories, ringing in at second and fourth, respectively. The state ranked 26th in “career,” and at 22 in “community” and 10th in physical.

Compared to some other states on the index, Delaware’s mobility was drastic. Hawaii topped the 2018 index, reaching the top spot for the seventh time since Gallup began tracking wellbeing in 2008.

Hawaii and Colorado have ranked among the top 10 states in wellbeing for the 11th consecutive year.

West Virginia, on the other hand, reported the lowest wellbeing for the 10th straight year.

Notably, the data for Delaware was based on a sample size of only 386 survey — perhaps accounting for the drastic change. However, the sample size from each state was roughly proportionate to population size.

For instance the sample size from Alaska was 212 surveys and California’s was 10,542.

According to Gallup, their wellbeing index has exhibited regional patterns.

The Northern Plains and Mountain West are higher wellbeing areas, along with some Western states and pockets of the Northeast and Atlantic, they noted. The lowest wellbeing states are concentrated in the South and extend northward through the industrial Midwest.

Wellbeing in the U.S., overall, continued to decline in 2018, with the national wellbeing score sliding to 61.2 from 61.5 in 2017, said Gallup.

This extends a slide that began in 2017; over the past two years, the Well-Being Index has dropped 0.9 points.

While the declines were not as acute as in 2017, Gallup cited overall erosion in social and career wellbeing as the main contributors to the continued drag in 2018. Physical wellbeing improved in 2018, while financial and community wellbeing were unchanged, Gallup said.

The less-severe drop nationally in 2018 was characterized by a much more balanced performance among states — nearly as many had statistical improvements (seven including Delaware) as declines (eight) when compared with the 2017 measurement.

This was a far different year-over-year outcome than the record-setting change among states in 2017, when 21 states suffered a significant decline in wellbeing against no states that improved, said Gallup.

Staff writer Ian Gronau can be reached at 741-8272 or igronau@newszap.com

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