Delaware scores near bottom on recent ‘well-being’ Gallup index

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DOVER — The 2017 Gallup-Sharecare State Well-Being Index released last Tuesday ranks Delaware at 40th — one spot removed from the bottom 10.

The index seeks to be an ongoing measurement of well-being in the country and claims to have more than 2.5 million surveys fielded to date. It’s created in partnership by Gallup, Inc., an American think tank and pollster, and Sharecare, a health and wellness “engagement platform.”
To tally its rankings, the index examines five 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.

Although coming in near the top (11th place) in the purpose category, Delaware was dragged down the list by being 31st in social rank, 41st in financial rank, 46th in community rank and 31st in physical rank.

However, Delaware wasn’t one of the 21 states that saw a statistical decline from 2016 to 2017 in the report.

According to the Index, South Dakota took the top spot last year from Hawaii, who held it in 2016, and for the ninth consecutive year, West Virginia is the worst off.

The 10-page report claims that 2017 was a rough year for well-being in the country.

“Overall, 2017 was a challenging year for Americans’ well-being,” it reads. “The national Well-Being Index score for the U.S. in 2017 was 61.5 – a decline from 62.1 in 2016. This overall drop was characterized by declines in 21 states, easily the largest year-over-year decline in the 10-year history of the Well-Being Index. Not a single state showed statistically significant improvement compared to the previous year, which is also unprecedented in Well-Being Index measurement.”

Jeff Arnold, CEO and Founder of Sharecare, called the difference in the national picture “stark.”

“Our country’s well-being today versus just a year ago underscores the need to understand, assess and nurture the health of our populations comprehensively and continuously,” he said. “Regardless of your role in the community — be it an employer, civic leader, private citizen or any combination thereof — investing in the well-being of others is critical, now more than ever.”

The states showing a decline in well-being seemed to worsen on the same set of metrics, the report claims. The common characteristics include:

• An increase in worry on any given day

• A sharp uptick in reporting “little interest or pleasure in doing things”

• An increase in clinical diagnoses of depression

• Elevated reports of daily physical pain

• A decline in perceiving “positive energy” from friends and family members

• A reduction in having “someone who encourages you to be healthy”

• A drop in reports of liking “what you do each day”

• A decrease in those who have a leader in their lives who make them “enthusiastic about the future”

• A decline in the percentage of respondents who report that they are reaching their goals

• Satisfaction with standard of living (compared to peers)

To view the full report and other related data, visit well-beingindex.com/.

Reach staff writer Ian Gronau at igronau@newszap.com

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