How Does Your State Rank on Financial Well-Being?

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By Ari Cetron

It's not enough that they get to surf and drink Mai Tais, people living in Hawaii also lead the nation in financial well-being, according to a study published by Gallup.

Gallup, along with Healthways, looked at state-by-state surveys conducted daily throughout 2014. The surveys questioned people about their ability to afford food and health care, whether they could afford to do what they'd like to do, and about their feelings related to their finances. Based on the responses, the researchers rated financial well-being on a scale from 0 to 100, with 100 being the highest.

The national average for 2014, the first year such a study has been conducted, was 59.7. As noted, Hawaii topped the list with a 66. Alaska was second with a 65.1, and North Dakota third with 64.7.

At the bottom was Mississippi, with a score of 56.1. Other low-scorers were Tennessee at 57.5 and Georgia at 57.8. See a pattern there? It continues: The bottom 10 states were all in the South. Eight of the top 10 were contiguous states in the Mountain West and Midwest, from Wisconsin to Montana, and south as far as Nebraska.

Gallup notes that differences in income, employment and age may account for the regional pattern.

Gallup notes that about half of Americans say they are now feeling better about their finances, an improvement from the 43 percent who said that just two years ago.

Check out more details on the well-being rankings.

Where did your state rank? Does it match your sense of financial well-being? Share your thoughts in comments below or on our Facebook page.

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