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Monday, November 15, 2010

Insights on U.S. Cities -- From Those Who Live There

In the interconnected, borderless world of smartphones and Skype, it's easy to forget how much the community in which you live affects your life.

In the book Wellbeing, Gallup reports on research indicating that engagement and involvement in the place you live is one of the five essential elements of wellbeing -- right alongside your career, social, financial, and physical wellbeing. Further, research -- including a study published this month in PLoS Computational Biology and those in the book Connected -- suggest that you can "catch" both good and bad behaviors from the people you interact with.

This month, we're out with new findings that provide new insights on community wellbeing.

Our special feature on the what we've learned from conducting 1 million wellbeing surveys in the U.S. reveals the metro areas that perform best and worst on key wellbeing metrics. If good and bad behaviors truly are contagious, there's only going to be more frequent exercising in Boulder, Colo., and less of it in Springfield, Ohio.

We're also out with a study that explores what makes people love the community where they live. The findings from the Soul of the Community study, conducted over three years in partnership with John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, reveal that a community's social offerings, openness, and aesthetics consistently matter the most -- and far more so than harder metrics, such as its leadership, economy, or perceived level of safety.

Both studies are part of Gallup's commitment to provide empirical evidence toward building a happier, healthier, and more productive world. To be sure to get all of our wellbeing findings as soon as they are published, sign up to receive all of our wellbeing news via e-mail alerts or RSS.


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