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February 28, 2014

Things are looking up for New Jerseyans, at least according to the annual State of American Well-Being Index, created by Gallup and Healthways. Surveys of New Jerseyans on emotional and physical health, as well as life evaluation, ranked Garden State residents squarely in the middle of the pack at 23rd among all states. That’s a significant improvement over last year’s ranking, which had New Jersey at 32.

To obtain its score, New Jerseyans ranked high for physical health (9) and life evaluation (15). They also scored better than average for access to basic necessities (21), but only 26th in healthy behaviors. New Jersey fared worst in work environment (34) and emotional health (34). Nevertheless, the report said that year after year, New Jersey has the lowest levels of depression in the nation.

States with the highest levels of wellbeing this year were North and South Dakota, followed by Nebraska, Minnesota, Montana, Vermont, Colorado, and Hawaii. At the bottom of the list: West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Alabama and Ohio.

How does New Jersey stand up against it neighbors? Pretty well: New York ranked 35th, Pennsylvania ranked 36th, Delaware ranked 28th, and Connecticut ranked 31st.

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