The healthiest state may also be a top contender for "most beautiful," too.
woman exercising
Credit: Getty: The Good Brigade

If you've been searching for the state where Americans are most likely to be happy and living a healthy lifestyle, you wouldn't find it anywhere in the continental United States. This place enjoys plenty of sunshine, breathtaking landscapes, rich cuisine, and a local culture unlike any other-we're talking about Hawaii, of course.

You may not be too surprised to hear that the 50th state has earned the title of the "healthiest" state in America, according to new data from Gallup. The polling firm recently released its 2019 "Well-Being Index," which surveys more than 115,000 Americans across the country to determine where the happiest and healthiest people are living. There are five different categories in the survey: holistic physical health, social wellbeing (which includes relationships), careers, financial security, and community, which is a measure of how much pride you have for your current state.

Hawaii pulled in the highest scores for the seventh year in a row, which Gallup says is a record. Hawaiians are known to enjoy their local beaches and state parks, which boosts both their mental and physical well-being. The Gallup results also indicate that, more often than not, Hawaiians are very proud of their beautiful state.

Which other states ranked highly? Wyoming snagged the second-highest ratings across the board while the other contiguous state, Alaska, rounded out the top three. All three of these states are full of natural flora, fauna, and some of the most striking natural wonders. It's not a coincidence, either: Montana, Utah, Colorado, Vermont, Delaware, South Dakota, and North Dakota are all in Gallup's top 10, which could link their landscapes (think: Grand Tetons or the Rocky Mountains) to people's physical activity. Previous research has shown that exercise is tied to increased happiness, which may explain why Colorado and Hawaii-two states with the lowest obesity rates in the country, according to Gallup-are consistently in the top ten happiest states every year since Gallup started this survey.

Equally beautiful in their own right, Louisiana, Indiana, and Illinois were among the states with the lowest scores, mostly due to the fact that these locales have some of the highest obesity rates in the country. Gallup reports that these residents said financial security and career longevity was an issue as well.

Regardless of where you live, there are many ways you can stay in shape and work on your holistic mental health-even if that means taking a cue from Hawaiians and spending more time outside each and every day.


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