Archive for March 2009


Gallup-Healthways Well-Being

March 12th, 2009 — 4:38am

wellness1Will Wilkinson points to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index which purports to measure overall health (“not only the absence of infirmity and disease, but also a state of physical, mental, and social well-being”) at the congressional district level for the United States. Will hypothesizes that Utah’s high score may be due to “a skoche of culture-driven upward inflation” (Mormons overstating their happiness).

Fortunately, the components of the Well-Being Index are reported as well. Two components, Life Evaluation and Emotional Health, measure self-reported happiness. If Will’s hypothesis were correct, we would expect these components to account for a disproportionate share of Utah’s overall index. In the scatterplots to the right, the three Utah congressional districts are highlighted in orange. Contrary to Will, Utah is above average only in the Work Quality component. On all the others, including Life Evaluation and Emotional Health, Utah is average or below average.

Wellness data in Excel, since I couldn’t figure out how to get it from the Gallup-Healthways site. The visualization was done in Tableau.

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