To Promote the General Well-Being

Lou Gehrig said, "Today, I consider myself to be the luckiest man on the face of the earth."  What of the happiest person in America?  The New York Times knows.

According to the annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, he is a tall, Asian-American, observant Jew who is at least 65 and married, has children, lives in Hawaii, runs his own business and has a household income of more than $120,000 a year.  And the New York Times tracked down someone who fit that description.  To top it off, they posted an interactive map online to compare the well-being of Americans by congressional district based on several criteria.

We Americans always love a great competition.  "My district is better than your district."  Ever noticed how everything devolves into winners and losers?  Such as chanting "U-S-A, U-S-A!" at presidential inaugurations.  Imagine folks chanting "U-K, U-K!" or "Deutsch-land, Deutsch-land!"  But that's a different blog and I digress.

After my initial curiosity of comparing my current district to my childhood district, my eyes opened to the real possibility of using the information on the map to my best advantage.  Mr. Gaelic and I want to retire to the mountains, preferably East Coast mountains rather than west of the Great Plains.  Our initial search for land is centered on eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, and southwestern Virginia, the land of our forebears.  But should we be looking elsewhere?

Take a look at the clues on the map.  Those areas tend to have higher rates of depression, health problems, high cholesterol, diabetes, and smoking than my current district.  They also have less nighttime safety, dental visits, and health insurance than my current district.  That generally translates to less productive and active seniors, more police presence at the expense of taxpayers, and more morbidity for everyone. 

Time to expand the search for mountain property.


  1. While I am certainly a quant, I feel like these subsets are not really indicative of much. Happiness is a nebulous concept but my guess is that other factors are more relevant and that most of these will turn out to be inner rather than outer.

  2. Hmmm...we're looking for a place we can afford to retire it. Our part of the great Atlantic northeast is so expensive.