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Minnesota ranks 4th in measure of nation's well-being; N.D. 1st


Minnesota ranks as one of the nation's top states when it comes to well-being.

Gallup Healthways released their annual "State of American Well-Being" index Tuesday, and as a whole, Minnesota ranked fourth overall in 2013. That's a one spot drop from the prior year – but Minnesota is the only state to be in the top five both years. North Dakota finished first, South Dakota second, and Nebraska third. (Note: You can see the full 43-page report by clicking here).

The index, according to its creators, "provides an in-depth, real-time view of Americans’ perceptions of their well-being." It looks at 55 measures of well-being that go beyond traditional data, Gallup Healthways says.

The grades are determined by surveying a number of residents in each state – 3,690 in Minnesota's case – about their quality of life, broken up into six different sub-categories. Minnesota's highest marks from its own residents came in Basic Access and Physical Health; the state finished second overall in both categories. It ranked sixth in Life Evaluation, seventh in Emotional Health and eighth in Work Environment. It's worst grade came in the Healthy Behaviors category, where it ranked 15th.

Broken down to cities, the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington in the Minnesota-Wisconsin region ranked fourth among large communities (San Jose, San Francisco-Oakland, and Washington D.C. area came in ahead). Among all cities, regardless of size, it finished 13th overall. Duluth is 64th overall.

Madison, Wisconsin ranked 10th among mid-size communities (and 16th overall); Sioux Falls, South Dakota was fifth in small communities (22nd overall).

Provo-Orem in Utah topped the overall list.

North Dakota continues its recent run of topping national rankings: The state led the country in job creation in 2013, came in as the happiest state in a recent ranking, and shot up the charts more than any of its counterparts in terms of the number of millionaires. Fresh in the midst of an oil boom, North Dakota ranked first overall – jumping way up from 2012's ranking of 19th.

Minnesota and North Dakota were two of six states Gallup Healthways says distinguish themselves as America's top well-being states, by averaging a composite score of 68.4 or higher during all six years of the index's existence. Hawaii, Utah, Colorado and Montana are the other three.

The nation's well-being score as a whole last year came in slightly lower than 2012.

Below are the top and bottom 10 state rankings for 2013, followed by a couple of interactive graphs you can use to look at the rankings more in-depth. (Note: Remember these rankings are done 1-50, 1 being the best. So a low number in the graphs is a good thing; a higher number is worse).

Top 10 States
1. North Dakota
2. South Dakota
3. Nebraska
4. Minnesota
5. Montana
6. Vermont
7. Colorado
8. Hawaii
9. Washington
10. Iowa

Bottom 10
41. Louisiana
42. Oklahoma
43. Missouri
44. Tennessee
45. Arkansas
46. Ohio
47. Alabama
48. Mississippi
49. Kentucky
50. West Virginia

In this chart, click each bubble next to the sub-category to see each state's ranking.
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