Just for fun, here’s a chart from the gallup.com well-being index:
Where does your state rank? The one in which I currently live (Utah) is #2:
Here’s the article’s conclusion:
The overall well-being of the nation has thus far trended down 0.4 points in 2009, representing a modest decline from 2008 in Americans’ collective well-being. At the midyear point, a number of Western and Midwestern states top the country on well-being, while Southern states are more prevalent toward the bottom of the list. The states at the very front and very back of the pack have remained unchanged from 2008, with Hawaii and Utah continuing to lead the nation on overall well-being, while West Virginia and Kentucky are trailing. While the data from the first six months of 2009 give a glimpse into where the well-being of states is headed, a more complete picture of state-level well-being will take shape after a full year of data collection.
And here’s a bit about methods:
Results are based on telephone interviews with more than 178,545 national adults, aged 18 and older, conducted Jan. 2-June 30, 2009, as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±0.2 percentage points.
The margin of sampling error for most states is ±1-2 percentage points, but is as high as ±4 points for smaller states such as Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Delaware, and Hawaii.