Delaware advanced 21 slots on the national Gallup Healthways Well-being Index from ranking 47 in 2011 to 26 in 2012. The state rankings are based upon 1,000 phone interviews in which respondents were asked about their emotional and physical health, work environment, healthy behavior, life evaluation and access to basic needs like food, shelter, healthcare, and a safe and satisfying place to live.
“This positive ranking reflects the progress we are making through the collaboration of our public, private and nonprofit partners across the state,” Gov. Jack Markell said. “The state is supporting many efforts to help people manage their health. This includes building a community-based mental health system, creating more walking and biking trails, and having tobacco-free state-owned buildings and campuses. While we are each responsible for our own healthy behaviors, the state is working to support people in making healthy choices.”
“This improved ranking is so heartening to see,” said Rita Landgraf, secretary of the Department of Health and Social Services. “Feeling better about yourself - physically, mentally and emotionally - is one of the keys to wellness and good health. So many partners across the state are working with us to improve everything from our mental health system to cancer rates, from obesity rates to chronic disease rates. While we have made progress - and this ranking confirms that - there are still many more challenges ahead. With our partners, our goal is to create a culture of health and wellness among all Delawareans.”
Many states’ rankings remained consistent with previous years, but Delaware was among a few states with a significant change. According to data from the report, Delaware’s rankings advanced so dramatically because citizens reported improvements across all measures, with particularly big improvements in life evaluation (41st to 18th position) and emotional health (40th to 18th). There were also encouraging increases in physical health (41st to 32nd), healthy behaviors (35th to 29th), work environment (50th to 37th) and basic access to food, shelter and healthcare (30th to 22nd).