Louisiana is next to last in an annual ranking of well-being in each state, continuing a three-year slide for the state and following an “unprecedented” drop in well-being nationally last year.
The study, from Gallup and Sharecare, is in its 10th year of analyzing the well-being of Americans, examining five elements: financial, community, physical, social and purpose.
Louisiana fell to its lowest ranking ever, No. 49, landing ahead of just West Virginia. Last year, the state ranked No. 43, and has been in the bottom 10 for state well-being since the study’s inception.
In particular, Louisiana ranked last in community well-being category, or “liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community.” The Bayou State was next-to-last in financial well-being, defined as “managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security.”
The U.S. South fared poorly in this year’s rankings, with Mississippi, Arkansas placing in the bottom 10, and Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina ranking worse than average. Texas, on the other hand, ranks No. 13.
Nationally, the overall well-being score for Americans dropped from 2016, and declined in 21 states represented the largest year-over-year decrease in the study’s history.
“Not a single state showed statistically significant improvement compared to the previous year, which is also unprecedented in Well-Being Index measurement,” the report says.
South Dakota, Vermont and Hawaii are the three highest ranked states. The study is based on telephone interviews with 160,498 people in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.