The 11 Most Miserable Cities In America

girl walking in charleston west virginiaCharleston, WV

Gallup is out with its latest batch of “wellbeing” data, and a new city has fallen to the lowest spot in the rankings.

This year, Charleston, WV ranked lowest on the pollster’s index of wellbeing in metropolitan areas. It displaced Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH, which came in last place for the previous two years.

The index ranks wellbeing by averaging scores in six categories: Life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviours, and access to basic necessities.

#11 Utica-Rome, NY

Overall score: 63.4/100

The metro area ranked 176th overall, four spots higher than its place at #180 in 2011. It scored highest in healthy behaviour (at #65), which measures lifestyle habits like smoking, exercise frequency, diet, and consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Results are based on phone interviews with a random sample of 353,563 adults in the U.S. Metro areas are based on the Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Source: Gallup Well-Being Index

#10 Spartanburg, SC

Overall score: 63.4/100

Spartanburg was not ranked in 2011. It ranked #176 of 189 metro areas in terms of life evaluation, a self-evaluation of one's current personal wellbeing and expected personal wellbeing in five years.

Results are based on phone interviews with a random sample of 353,563 adults in the U.S. Metro areas are based on the Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Source: Gallup Well-Being Index

#9 Rockford, IL

Overall score: 63.1/100

Rockford dropped 26 spots to #181 this year. It fared best in terms of physical health -- which measures sick days, obesity, rest, health problems, energy, flu, colds, and headaches -- coming in at #129.

Results are based on phone interviews with a random sample of 353,563 adults in the U.S. Metro areas are based on the Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Source: Gallup Well-Being Index

#8 Evansville, IN-KY

Overall score: 63.1/100

Evansville ranked #182 of 189 metro areas. It dropped significantly on the work environment index -- which measures participants' perception on their work experience including job satisfaction, treatment, and office environment and interactions -- from #10 to #159.

Results are based on phone interviews with a random sample of 353,563 adults in the U.S. Metro areas are based on the Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Source: Gallup Well-Being Index

#7 Bakersfield, CA

Overall score: 63.0/100

Bakersfield dropped significantly on the emotional health index this year, from #75 to #175. The index measures participants' daily experiences of smiling, happiness, laughing, sadness, anger, stress, and worry.

Results are based on phone interviews with a random sample of 353,563 adults in the U.S. Metro areas are based on the Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Source: Gallup Well-Being Index

#6 Fort Smith, AR-OK

Overall score: 62.9/100

The metro area ranked 187th in the categories of life evaluation, physical health, and healthy behaviour. It fared best in work environment, ranking #12 -- an 88-spot jump from 2011.

Results are based on phone interviews with a random sample of 353,563 adults in the U.S. Metro areas are based on the Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Source: Gallup Well-Being Index

#5 Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC

Overall score: 62.7/100

The metro area ranked last in terms of life evaluation, a self-evaluation of one's current personal wellbeing and expected personal wellbeing in five years. It fared best in terms of work environment, ranking #75.

Results are based on phone interviews with a random sample of 353,563 adults in the U.S. Metro areas are based on the Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Source: Gallup Well-Being Index

#4 Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX

Overall score: 62.5/100

The metro area dropped 19 places between 2011 and 2012. It fared worst in terms of work environment, ranking #188; the index measures participants' perception on their work experience including job satisfaction, treatment, and office environment and interactions.

Results are based on phone interviews with a random sample of 353,563 adults in the U.S. Metro areas are based on the Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Source: Gallup Well-Being Index

#3 Mobile, AL

Overall score: 62.4/100

Mobile dropped six spots in this year's ranking. It ranked highest in terms of healthy behaviour, at #116. The index looks at lifestyle habits like smoking, exercise frequency, diet, and consumption of fruits and vegetables.

Results are based on phone interviews with a random sample of 353,563 adults in the U.S. Metro areas are based on the Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Source: Gallup Well-Being Index

#2 Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH

Overall score: 61.2/100

Huntington-Ashland ranked last on the 2011 index. It came in last in terms of physical health, and ranked highest (#95) on the work environment index, which measures participants' perception on their work experience including job satisfaction and office environment.

Results are based on phone interviews with a random sample of 353,563 adults in the U.S. Metro areas are based on the Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Source: Gallup Well-Being Index

#1 Charleston, WV

Overall score: 60.8/100

Charleston dropped seven spots, coming in last in the 2012 wellbeing index. It dropped 44 spots in the work environment category and 17 spots in terms of emotional health, to last place.

Results are based on phone interviews with a random sample of 353,563 adults in the U.S. Metro areas are based on the Metropolitan Statistical Areas defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.

Source: Gallup Well-Being Index

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