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WV Again Ranked Last In Gallup's Well-Being Survey

Reported: Feb. 20, 2014 3:20 PM EST
Updated: Feb. 20, 2014 11:46 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Stefano DiPietrantonio) – Media coverage of a new Gallup survey which ranked West Virginia last in overall well-being is causing controversy.
Eyewitness News took the question to the streets.

“Oh, all the time!," Lauren Crites of Charleston said, when asked if she felt people pick on the state.

The state is ranking a distant last place when it comes to health and well-being, and we've already got enough people knocking us with the chemical leak and the water crisis, why can't we catch a break here?

"I don't know,” Mike Burton, originally from Princeton, but now living in Richmond, said.

“I've certainly been the butt of a lot of jokes in various meetings since I left the state, but I like to tell them, we prefer the term Appalachian Americans, not hillbillies."

Alex Holcomb of Charleston said he was born and raised in the area.

“I want to stay here,” he said. “My family’s here. I ain't going nowhere."

Even people who aren't from West Virginia said they love living here.

"They just built a new skate park in Nitro. I like it!" Austin Adkins, who moved to Charleston from Cincinnati four years ago, said.




CHARLESTON, W.Va. (Heath Harrison) – West Virginia has been ranked last in a new survey of well-being for all 50 states.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, calculated yearly by the organization, is based on interviews with adults across all 50 states and takes into account factors such as life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors and access to basic necessities.

The survey was conducted before the Jan. 9, 2014, water crisis. Adults were surveyed from Jan. 2 to Dec. 29, 2013, with a random sample of 178,072 adults.

West Virginia and Kentucky have ranked last for five years in a row. The index is calculated on a scale of one to 100, with 100 representing ideal well-being.

Well-being scores: Bottom five states in 2013
West Virginia: 61.4
Kentucky: 63
Mississippi: 63.7
Alabama: 64.1
Ohio: 64.2

North Dakota ranked first in well-being, with a score of 70.4, followed by South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota and Montana.

To view the full survey and methodology, visit Gallup’s website.



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