The Happiest States

© Provided by Business Insider
© Provided by Business Insider

The latest 2014 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being index was released Thursday, and for the first time in the poll’s history Alaska is the happiest state in America.

It was followed by Hawaii, South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana to round out of the top five.

The Gallup-Healthways data is based on over 176,000 interviews with US adults from January until December 2014. It tests five essential elements of well-being, including motivation to achieve goals (purpose), having positive relationships (social), economic satisfaction (financial), feeling safe and having pride in where you live (community), and taking care of your health (physical).

In addition to being the happiest state in the US, Alaskans also have the highest ranking in “purpose” or motivation to achieve life goals.

Dan Witters, research director for the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, told Business Insider that Alaska’s ranking this year wasn’t a surprise given that it has finished in the top five states three other times since 2009.

“Alaskans led the nation in 2014 with the lowest levels of daily stress, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol,” Witters said. “They also make good choices, including the lowest level of drug use in the US.”

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Source: Business Insider | mwillett@businessinsider.com (Megan Willett)

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