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12/07/2016 12:07 pm ET Updated Jun 20, 2017

New Study Reveals The States Where Older Americans Are Happiest

Aloha!
Digital Vision. via Getty Images

Who are all those retirees with smiles on their faces? Chances are they are residents of Hawaii.

A Gallup-Healthways study that ranks states by how happy their older residents are puts Hawaii at the top of its list, followed by Arizona, New Hampshire and North Dakota. Yes, North Dakota. Balancing out the rest of the top 10 were Colorado, Alaska, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and South Dakota. The state with the lowest well-being ranking for older adults was West Virginia.

The report is based on self-reported data from 115,572 interviews with people age 55 and older aimed at capturing how Americans feel and experience the context of their day-to-day lives. The five elements of well-being used are purpose, social, financial, community and physical health.

Hawaii led the nation in purpose, community and physical well-being. Arizona was tops for social well-being and North Dakota led in financial well-being.

Among the report’s other findings: As you get older, you have a greater sense of well-being. People 75 and older reported higher well-being than those 65 to 74, who reported greater happiness than those 55 to 64. The study suggested that older Americans ate healthier and made healthier lifestyle choices ― for example, they don’t smoke ― and thus thrive more. Those 75 and older have lower incidence of obesity and depression as compared to their younger counterparts, although among all age categories, obesity and depression reach their highest rates from age 55 to 64.

Older Americans are less worried about money than their younger counterparts; 29 percent of older Americans said they had worried about money in the last seven days, compared to 40 percent of those younger.

So, Mahalo to you! 

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