According to a wire report I saw in the Journal & Courier, Indiana ranks 5th to last in a new nationwide survey of well-being that queries people on mental, physical and economic health. We are ahead of West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio and Arkansas. Ohio surprises me, but the rest of those are traditionally dead-end states that Indiana probably doesn’t want to emulate.
The survey broke findings down by congressional district. Indiana’s 2nd District, home to South Bend, ranked 423rd out of the 435 districts nationwide for overall well-being. It ranked last for healthy behavior.
In general, the highest well-being scores came from states in the West, while the lowest were concentrated in the South.
These new, state-level data are the results from The AHIP State and Congressional District Resource for Well-Being. The Well-Being Index score for the nation and for each state is an average of six sub-indexes, which individually examine life evaluation, healthy behaviors, work environment, physical health, emotional health, and access to basic necessities. The questions in each sub-index are asked nightly of 1,000 national adults, aged 18 and older.
My own district, the fourth district, has the best well-being rank in the state leading in work quality and access to basic necessities. This isn’t exactly high praise, however, since that puts us at 240th out of the 435 congressional districts. Healthy behavior, however, is where Indiana really seems to fall apart. The Fourth District ranks 2nd in terms of Indiana’s Congressional Districts for healthy behavior, but nationally it is 393rd. Indiana is 48th out of 50 in terms of healthy behavior. Only Kentucky and Mississippi are worse. Generally speaking, this means we eat poorly, we smoke too much, and we don’t exercise. Maybe we should rethink opposition to things like smoking bans and health information on menus. I’m a little surprised at how aggravated being this low on a pretty controllable aspect of the index makes me. Don’t smoke, eat better, and exercise, after all, are things that are within all of our power.