Gallup: In 20 Years, Midwest Will Be the Best Place to Live

by Chris Curley on June 28, 2012

Iowa cornfield

Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, the Dakotas, Nebraska, and Kansas — these will be the best places to live by 2032, a new Gallup analysis predicts.

This “West North Central” region of the U.S. earned high marks in forward-looking categories like job creation, economic confidence, and general optimism (residents believe their standard of living and the cities they live in are getting better and not worse), according to data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

In addition, workers in the West North Central region have the highest levels of full-time employment in the nation — important for building a strong economic future — and score highly for access to clean drinking water and safe places to exercise, the latter of which is key for reducing weight and maintaining high well-being, the analysts say.

The region scored a 3.3 on a scale of one to 10 (one is best) for Future Livability by the pollsters. The Mountain regions (Montana, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico) and Pacific regions (California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Alaska) come in a close second and third, with future-livability scores of 3.5 and 3.6, respectively, Business Insider reported June 22.

The East South Central region, comprising Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama, fared worst, scoring a 7.2 on the future-livability scale. This region has traditionally suffered lower well-being due to high levels of obesity and diabetes as well as low levels of physical activity.

(Photo © Broyal43 via Flickr)