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What’s the Best City in the US? The Answer May Surprise You


If you want to find exactly where Americans are doing best, pack up and head to the Midwest.

According to the latest Gallup poll, Lincoln, Nebraska is the top metro area for well-being in the U.S. It edged out Boulder, Colorado for the honor.

Perhaps the people of Lincoln can share their secret with the folks in Charleston, West Virginia. That city has the unfortunate distinction of having the lowest well-being in the nation, which certainly won’t do much to help its self-esteem. This list of metropolitan areas follows an earlier survey that found Hawaii led all states in well-being, while West Virginia, perhaps riding the strength of Charleston’s downtrodden state, brought up the rear.

Gallup created a well-being index by measuring six pieces of data, including how people evaluate their lives, emotional health, work environment, physical health, health behavior and access to basic essentials. More than 353,000 people took part in the survey.

Top 10 Metropolitan Areas for Well-Being

1. Lincoln, Nebraska
2. Boulder, Colorado
3. Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont
4. Provo-Orem, Utah
5. Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado
6. (tie) Barnstable Town, Massachusetts
6. (tie) Honolulu, Hawaii
8. Ann Arbor, Michigan
9. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-Virginia-Maryland-West Virginia
10. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, California

Bottom 10 Metropolitan Areas for Well-Being

1. Charleston, West Virginia
2. Huntington-Ashland, West Virginia-Kentucky-Ohio
3. Mobile, Alabama
4. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas
5. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, North Carolina
6. Fort Smith, Arkansas-Oklahoma
7. Bakersfield, California
8. (tie) Evansville, Indiana-Kentucky
8. (tie) Rockford, Illinois
10. (tie) Spartanburg, South Carolina
10. (tie) Utica-Rome, New York


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