IG of the Day: Physical and Emotional Well Being

Graphic credit: Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index

Virginia scores 14th nationally in Gallup-Healthway’s 2012 Well Being Index, which incorporates the following metrics: life evaluation, emotional health, physical health, healthy behaviors, work environment and access to health care.

The Washington metro ranked tops in the country for large communities, and Charlottesville third for small communities. Richmond (No. 92), Lynchburg (No. 93) and Virginia Beach (No. 99) all ranked in the middle quintile for the 189 metropolitan areas surveyed.

View the Virginia state index here.

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4 responses to “IG of the Day: Physical and Emotional Well Being”

  1. DJRippert Avatar

    More good data to lay some urban myths to rest.

    How many times have I read comments from non-NoVa people that Northern Virginia is a gray, soulless, strip mall infested rat hole? And EVERYBODY knows that people hate living in suburban sprawl, right? Hell, we don’t even have meat pie outlets or a plethora of community gardens. People must live here because they are trapped by their jobs.

    But here comes that pesky data again.

    In the report are breakdowns by US Congressional districts. Districts 8 and 11 are pretty much “core NoVa”. Based on the comments frequently seen on this blog, one would expect to see great unhappiness in sprawlville. Not so. Let’s look at the “Life Evaluation” category. The results by Congressional district:

    1 – 35
    2 – 124
    3 – 327
    4 – 86
    5 – 220
    6 – 144
    7 – 128
    8 – 4
    9 – 427
    10 – 12
    11 – 8

    So, the three Congressional districts mired in NoVa sprawl rate 4, 12 and 8 (out of 435 nationally) while, for comparison purposes, the area centered around Richmond comes in at 327.

    Jim, what’s bothering you guys down there? Do you need to talk?

  2. The 3rd Congressional District (Congressman Bobby Scott) is the gerrymandered “minority” district comprised largely of African-Americans. It has a disproportionately high rate of poverty, hence lower metrics for well being.

    As for the link between “sprawl” and well being, yes, there probably is one… As it is a problem that affects all of Virginia’s metro regions, sprawl doesn’t really explain regional differences in well being.

    What would explain differences in well being? Education level and income are probably pretty good predictors. NoVa’s high scores, I would submit, reflect its high levels of education and income, not its human settlement patterns, some of which work very well (Arlington, Old Town Alexandria), and some of which are highly dysfunctional.

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      Yeah, whoever said that money can’t buy happiness must have never been rich. However, maybe the 3 NoVa districts ought to be even happier than they are:


  3. I went to the methodology discussion and got rid of some of my skepticism that this was subjective but they have real world economic proxies like if you seen a dentist or have enough money for food so that makes it a pretty interesting survey which would be IMHO even better if other indexes like unemployment, food stamps, etc were used in conjunction with it.

    but having said that – the actual numbers for Va Cong districts looks like perhaps not enough data was collected…..

    finally – in their methodology – they say this: ” Each daily sample includes a minimum quota of 150 cell phone respondents and 850 landline respondents”

    I’m not expert (at anything!) but now days in places like NoVa, is it reasonable to assume the proportion of land lines to cell phones? Many, many young people and some minorities now days do not have a land-line and they are mobile in terms of where they live. They also tend to be much less wealthy income-wise than those with a permanent residence and a land-line.

    that’s a bigger issue perhaps than just this survey ……

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