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Iowa lands in Top-10 list of happiest states

Story by Katie Ericson

Recently Des Moines was crowned “The Wealthiest American City” by “Today.”

Listed as a good city for jobs and families, it was considered “rich” because of its economics, overall safety and popularity.

Now another title can be added to the list.

Gallup conducted a poll on the well-being of states. Based on a score from 0–100 of residents’ life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behavior and basic access to necessities, they ranked the states.

While not number one, Iowa still makes the Top-10 with a score of 68.2.

Above it are Minnesota and Nebraska with 69.7, South Dakota at 70.0, and North Dakota with the highest score of 70.4.

Less than three points away from the lead state, Iowa represented well.

Yet the poll showed something else.

Of the Top-10 states, nine are from the Midwest.

Eight of the 10 states in the bottom 10 are from the South. North Dakota had the highest work and physical health scores, and Nebraska the best life evaluation.

West Virginia took the bottom of five categories except for the work environment for which Mississippi was considered the worst.

It seems that the Midwest is one of the best places to live.

So what is it that makes the Midwest such a great place?

Gallup says it is due to the high availability of jobs, low cost of living and high average income.

Iowa is tied for third on the economic confidence poll, tied for eighth for job creations and is seventh for payroll to population.

Consistently, we score on the Top-10 lists of economic polls.

Sophomore Nick Wallace agreed with Gallup, stating that for practical reasons it is a good choice.

“The Midwest is a great place to live. It’s a little safer, and it’s a little more rural,” Wallace said.

Some students have other reasons for loving the area, though.

Freshman Grace Boatman enjoys the political candidates and debates that often come to Des Moines.

“You have a lot of political opportunities in Iowa with all the Democrats and Republicans coming through,” Boatman said.

Katie Canepa, a sophomore, said she likes the Midwest for it’s beauty.

“I love the Midwest because of the lakes and woods. It’s just so beautiful,” Canepa said.

Some even enjoy it because of the weather.

“I know this is weird to say right now, but I like the obnoxious amounts of snow. I just like trudging through snow,” said junior Tricia Potempa.

The state has been ranked in the Top-10 well being states for the past two years and has improved by 1.3 points.

It has had a steady increase in prestige even though the United States as a whole is at one of its lowest scores (66.2) in the past five years, half a point lower that the 2012 score.

So despite the harsh weather (or maybe, if you are like Potempa, because of it) the Midwest does seem to be a good place to be.


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