We’ve slipped a little bit

Hmmm. We’re no longer No. 1. After pacing the nation for the last four years in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, Hawaii slipped to No. 8 in 2013.

According to results released Thursday, North Dakota tops the list as the state whose citizens have careers they enjoy; are well set socially and financially; are in good shape physically; and have a sense of community.

North Dakota was followed on the 2013 list by South Dakota, Nebraska, Minnesota, Montana, Vermont and Colorado. Then came Hawaii.

The only thing we can see in common among the states that finished ahead of Hawaii this year is that they are all quite colder.

Once again this year, eight of the 10 lowest scores in the Well-Being Index were recorded in Southern states with West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Alabama ranking as the bottom four in that order.

The biggest shifts upward in the sense of well-being were North Dakota, which went from 19th in 2012 to No. 1 in 2013, and South Dakota, which went from No. 12 in 2012 to second last year. Wyoming was the biggest loser, going from No. 13 to No. 34.

It should be noted that the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index is a result of self-evaluation of the citizens of the various states. This year’s results came through polling some 178,000 Americans across all 50 states about their views of their lives.

According to its website, the overall 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.”

On a scale of 100, the nation’s average on the Well-Being Index is 66.2. Hawaii comes in at 68.4.

We just can’t help thinking Hawaii would always be No. 1 if all the interviews were conducted in winter months.

* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.