Gallup chimes in on the where-you-should-live idea with Provo, Utah (joining everyone else)

Every media-type organization ends up doing a “best places to live” or “best places to work” metric/discussion/table/poll/etc. — all based off different adjusted factors — and Gallup is no different. They released a “Well-Being Index” recently that saw Provo, Utah at the top. (The next three are Boulder, Fort Collins, and Honolulu, proving again that we all need to move west of the Mississippi to find true happiness, and east of it to find true wealth — excepting San Francisco.) Lo and behold, the first “major city” on the Well-Being Index was San Jose/Sunnyvale, right after Honolulu. If you’re interested in the other side of the spectrum, the three lowest were Huntington, WV; Charleston, WV; and Redding, CA. Here’s how it all works, analysis-wise:

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index score is an average of six sub-indexes, which individually examine life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and access to basic necessities. The overall score and each of the six sub-index scores are calculated on a scale from 0 to 100, where a score of 100 represents the ideal. Gallup and Healthways have been tracking these measures daily since January 2008.

Here’s which city came in at the top for each sub-index:



Now here’s the final interesting thing: Provo is also, by Gallup’s analysis, the most religious city in the United States — and that contributes to its overall well-being. It’s interesting in the sense that in other parts of the world, religion can be so contentious; that being said, though, the majority of those in Provo are likely Mormons, and I’d argue most of “broader America” still doesn’t completely understand Mormonism (see: candidacy of Mitt Romney). Also should be noted that if you average these Well-Being Index scores since 2008, Boulder is the No. 1 place in America to live, which makes sense because it’s beautiful and near a major university hub; problem is, my friend from Boulder often tells me “a lot of the people working in Starbucks here have PhDs.”

Salt Lake City and Provo often tend to top these kinds of lists. I’d move there in a second if there was a gig out there. Heck, they have amazing public transportation.


Ted Bauer