The Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index for 2017 paints a bleak picture of the general state of America.
The annual report, released Tuesday, showed that 21 states saw a decline in well-being while zero states saw an improvement—a first in the index’s nearly decade-long history. Although some physical and community well-being measurements improved, they were outweighed by the drop in measurements of purpose, social well-being, and mental health.
Where does your state rank?
The Top Five
South Dakota: South Dakota topped the list this year, up from its No. 3 rank last year. It has ranked in the top six states in the index every year since 2013 and this year got the highest score for the “purpose” element. Vermont: Vermont tied South Dakota’s rounded score of 64.1 out of 100 possible points. (Vermont is ranked No. 2 because in terms of non-rounded scores South Dakota edged out Vermont by a fraction of a point) Last year, Vermont was ranked No. 6. It was the highest scorer in the physical and community elements. Hawaii: Hawaii dropped from the top-ranked state for well-being to No. 3 this year. Hawaii has been ranked in the top 10 states for well-being every year since the index started in 2008. The only other state to hold this distinction is Colorado, which was ranked 6th in this report. Minnesota: Minnesota improved its rank from No. 9 in 2016 to No. 4 in 2017. its highest rank was in financial well-being, where it came in third behind North Dakota and South Dakota. North Dakota: Rounding out the top five is North Dakota, which was ranked 16th in the 2016 index. It was ranked #1 in the financial element.
The Bottom Five
(46) Oklahoma: Oklahoma saw an improvement in rank from No. 48 to No. 46 between 2016 and 2017, but a decline in overall score. This indicates its rank improvement is more a reflection of poor performance on the part of other states, rather than its own positive performance. (47) Mississippi: Mississippi declined from a rank of No. 41 in 2016 to No. 47 this year, with an accompanying decline in point value. It was ranked the lowest for financial well-being. (48)Arkansas: Arkansas declined in the rankings from No. 46 in 2016 to No. 48 this year. It was ranked second-lowest in social and physical well-being. (49)Louisiana: Louisiana was ranked No. 49 in 2017, down from No. 43 the previous year. This is the state’s lowest rank ever. (50)West Virginia: West Virginia was the bottom-ranked state for well-being with an overall score of 58.8, maintaining its rank from 2016. It has been among the bottom-ranked states in terms of well-being throughout the history of the index.
Maine and Alaska demonstrated the largest declines in the rankings, with Maine falling 20 places from its No. 4 rank in 2016 to its No. 24 rank in 2017. Alaska fell 23 places from No. 2 in 2016 to No. 25 in 2017.
The full list of states where well-being declined between 2016 and 2017 include:
- New Jersey
- North Carolina
- South Carolina
The remaining states did not see statistically significant changes in well-being:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Dakota
- Rhode Island
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
The report did not offer analysis on why 2017 saw an unprecedented decline in well-being, but it did offer recommendations for employers, state and community leaders, and other stakeholders to help improve well-being, including cultural and infrastructure shifts to foster well-being among communities.
This post has been updated to reflect further details provided to Fortune by Gallup-Sharecare about how South Dakota and Vermont were ranked.