A record number of states saw well-being worsen last year

A record number of states saw well-being worsen last year, with declines in social, emotional and psychological health offsetting gains in physical health, according to new research.

In 2017, 21 states saw declines despite a booming economy, compared with 15 states that showed declines in 2009 during the Great Recession, the annual Gallup-Sharecare Well-Being Index found. None posted any statistically significant improvement for the first time in the 10 years the study has been conducted.

The national score declined to 61.5 in 2017 from 62.1 in 2016.

“Well-being as a multi-faceted measure relates to productivity and health-care costs, both of which are critical aspects to the economy,” said Ashlin Jones, vice president of research and advanced data science at Sharecare. “That’s why it matters to measure it and watch the trends.”

Researchers interviewed more than 160,000 adults about purpose, social, financial, community and physical metrics to assess overall well-being. Two categories with steep declines were social and purpose.

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