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February 1, 2017

Fourth happiest state? It's Maine

A national report analyzing five metrics for each of the 50 states puts Maine as the fourth-highest state overall for well-being.

That ranking, announced today as part of the Gallup-Healthways State of American Well-Being series, is up nearly 20 spots from last year.

The report looks at how states compare across the five elements of well-being:

  • Purpose, defined as "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.

Maine had top 10 finishes for its financial and physical rankings.

The top five states are Hawaii, Alaska, North Dakota, Maine and Colorado.

Report highlights:

  • Nationwide trends show lower smoking rates (now at 18.0%, down from 21.1% in 2008); higher rates of exercise; and the highest scores on health care access measures, including health insurance coverage, recorded since 2008.

  • Rates of obesity (28.4%), diabetes (11.6%) and depression (17.8%) are now at their highest points since measurement began in 2008.

"Understanding and improving the well-being of employees should be foundation to the people strategy of any organization," Michael Thompson, president and CEO of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, said in a written statement accompanying the report. "Leading companies have shown that well-being is essential to an engaged and thriving workforce and a key building block to success and sustainability. It can be a force multiplier to the bottom line by directly influencing health care costs, resilience and retention, as well as the top line through factors such as customer satisfaction, sales and innovation."

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