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April 14, 2015

The state of New Jersey’s wellbeing has taken a significant dive, according to the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index, dropping from 23rd to 34th this year.

The index looks at a variety of factors it says make up someone’s wellbeing: purpose (how well people like what they do each day); social (having supportive relationships and love); financial (managing economic life to reduce stress and increase security); community (liking where you live and feeling safe); and physical (good health and energy).

What’s changed for New Jersey? Well, some of it can be blamed on a shift in methodology, since the components of the rankings this year do not line up exactly with those used in the past. But the state also has dropped when it comes to physical metrics. This year, New Jersey was ranked 20th and last year, it ranked ninth in terms of physical health, but only 26th in healthy behaviors. The other statistic that seems startling -- and is a difficult one to judge -- is that New Jerseyans seem depressed and unhappy. It ranked 43rd this year in terms of purpose and 48th when it came to community.

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