The data come from 115,000 interviews are are based on five categories: 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); and Physical (having good health and enough energy to get things done daily).
Hawaii was No. 1 for Purpose, Community and Physical; Arizona was tops for Social, and North Dakota led for Financial. West Virginia was last for Purpose, Social and Physical. Mississippi had the lowest score for Financial and New Jersey was lowest in Community.
"There is one cluster of states with high rankings in a section of the Midwest, but for the most part, the high- and low-ranking states are evenly distributed," Tara Bahrampour reports for The Washington Post. Dan Witters, research director for index, told her, “The 55-and-over crowd in those top states … report always making time for regular trips and vacations with family and friends, reaching their goals in the last 12 months, using their strengths and aptitudes as a human being, in other words, doing things that are a natural right fit for them." (Post graphic showing states colored by quintiles, or fifths of 50)