When it comes to hope for the future, Maine ranked worst in the nation for standard of living, according to a new Gallup poll that combines a cross-section of metrics to determine a state’s livability.
Gallup surveyed 530,000 people over 18 months, ending June 2012, on 13 metrics such as full-time employment, economic confidence, health, standard of living optimism and how optimistic people were about their life in five years to determine their rankings.
On the overall score, Utah came out on top, followed by Minnesota and Colorado. Maine ranked 40th overall, with the bottom three West Virginia, Mississippi, and Kentucky.
Utah surpassed nearly every state for having low smoking habits, access to clean water and the perception that the area is improving. Minnesota prevailed in economic confidence and access to a safe place to exercise, while North Dakota led the job creation index and those employed full-time.
On the other hand, West Virginia ranked at the bottom in five of the 13 categories: economic confidence, safe places to exercise, obesity, smoking habits and learning new information on a daily basis. Mississippi bottomed out in three indexes of its own: dentist visits, full-time employment and having a supervisor who treats you like a partner — not a boss.
On sheer standards of living, Hawaiians were most likely to say theirs were getting better, while Maine’s residents were tops in being likely to say theirs were getting worse.