Wednesday, November 11, 2009
The website LiveScience just posted an article entitled "The Well-Being of 50 U.S. States." It's actually a survey called "the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index," which purports to show which states are the happiest. Some of the factors that contribute to happiness include personal behaviors, but a related article says part of the reason is that some states' populations are happier is because the states are wealthier and can provide better infrastructure to meet residents' needs.
So how do these rankings shake out? Utah, Hawaii, Wyoming and Colorado are the top 4. I'm a Colorado native and just returned from a trip there, so that ranking warms my heart. However, I think the view of the Rockies way outstrips the infrastructure in contributing to happiness. Maybe when I can ride the light rail all the way to the Denver airport (scheduled for 2014) I'll feel differently. As for my current home and the home states of my co-bloggers - Texas is 21st, Georgia is 23rd, South Carolina ranks 26, Alabama is 33rd, and Nevada is 38th. (I expected Nevada to have a higher ranking, given the rankings of other western states. Maybe Ngai Pindell has some ideas about why Nevada is relatively low?)
I'll be blogging more about current land use issues in Colorado in the coming weeks. I'm also planning to post some guest blogs by my students about their projects this semester.
Jamie Baker Roskie