Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, top 15 ranking metro areas

Residents of Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida, had the highest well-being across 190 communities Gallup and Healthways surveyed in 2014-2015, edging out Salinas, California. The remaining communities rounding out the top five, per Gallup analyst Dan Witters, were North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, Florida; Fort Collins, Colorado; and the Town of Barnstable, Massachusetts.

Witters notes that, for large metro areas in the study, San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara residents had the highest well-being among the nation's 53 largest communities, those with at least 1 million residents. Austin-Round Rock, Texas, placed second among large communities. He spotlights a few communities who're either moving up or down in the analysis, noting that the most critical factor in a well-being score is a four-letter word: jobs. He writes:

Communities with low well-being, as a whole, have residents with significantly higher obesity rates and double the heart attack incidence, thus incurring substantially higher healthcare costs. Conversely, communities with high well-being tend to have residents who learn and do interesting things daily, have safe places to exercise, have high energy levels and believe that their water is safe to drink.

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