In The Year 2032: Neb., S.D. Will Be Among The Best States To Live?

That is what the Gallup Business Journal is projecting. I hope they’re right, as there is a good chance I’ll still be in this neck of the world. Ask me in 20 years if I agree.

The best — and worst — places to live in 2032

To see into the future, Gallup examined 13 forward-looking metrics encompassing economic, workplace, and community factors as well as personal choices that might predict future livability. (For details on these metrics, see the sidebar “How Gallup Computed the Rankings” at the end of this article.)

The West North Central region, which includes Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas, is the region poised for the brightest future. Workers in this area are most likely to be employed full time for an employer in the type of good jobs associated with high GDP. Residents have the highest economic confidence in the nation, setting the region up for a strong economic future. They are also the most likely to report easy access to clean, safe water, meaning that this region is best positioned to address one of the critical resource challenges of the future.

The Mountain region, which includes Montana, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and New Mexico, comes in second, buoyed by the lowest obesity rate in the nation and the most widespread access to safe places to exercise. The Pacific region, comprised of California, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, and Alaska, comes in a close third, with the lowest smoking rate in the nation, quality workplace relationships, and the highest percentage of residents who say they learn new and interesting things daily.

The combination of strong economics, good health, and vibrant communities positions the West North Central, Mountain, and Pacific regions for a bright future. For other areas of the U.S., though, the future is not so bright. The East South Central region, which includes Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Mississippi, trails on several critical metrics and performed worst overall of the nine regions. People in this region are the least likely to be employed in good jobs or to learn new and interesting things daily, and they have the lowest economic confidence. They are also the most likely nationwide to be obese, to smoke, and to lack a safe place to exercise. That’s a killer combination, and it won’t help this area build the productive, healthy society of the future.

Read the entire report here.

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