What's That Now? Lincoln, Nebraska is the Best City in All of America for Well-BeingS

According to a Gallup poll, the city with the best well-being in all of America is Lincoln, Nebraska. With a proud composite score of 72.8 on Gallup's well-being index, Lincoln beat out the perhaps more natural choice of sunny destination city Boulder, Colorado by one-tenth of a point. Another mountain gem Burlington, Vermont followed close behind. Lincoln, on the other hand, was originally settled because of proximate salt flats and marshes.

Provo-Orem, Utah, and Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado round out the top five cities with the highest well-being in the U.S. Barnstable Town, Massachusetts, then Honolulu, Ann Arbor, the Washington DC metro area, and Paso Robles, California complete the top ten. Bottoming out at 60.8 in composite score, Charleston, W.V. claimed the lowest well-being score for American cities.

Of the 189 metropolitan areas surveyed, Gallup compiled at least 300 completed surveys from each area. The well-being index involves six sub-indexes, which individually measure life evaluation, emotional health, physical health, healthy behaviors, work environment, and access to basic necessities.

Island gateway Honolulu continued to hold onto its position of best emotional health. Lakeside college city Ann Arbor won for life evaluation, while old salt marsh encrusted Lincoln boasted the best work environment. While the physically healthiest group was jaunting about (possibly on ponies) in horse-country Charlottesville, Virginia, the city with the healthiest behavior (and presumable smugness about these behaviors) was Salinas, California.

For top metro areas the nation's capital won with 71.3, just beating out San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont area. The worst well-being index for metro area was held by humid wasteland Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Florida, which displaced American capital of regretful hangovers Las Vegas-Paradise, Nevada.

And the top-ten cities for well-being in bullet point form, in case you use this list to relocate every year or plan your travels or something:

  • Lincoln, NE | 72.8
  • Boulder, CO | 72.7
  • Burlington-South Burlington, VT | 72.4
  • Provo-Orem, UT | 71.7
  • Fort Collins-Loveland, CO | 71.6
  • Barnstable Town, MA | 71.5
  • Honolulu, HI | 71.5
  • Ann Arbor, MI | 71.4
  • Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD | 71.3
  • San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, CA | 71.2

[Gallup, image via Shutterstock/Katherine Welles]