Naples, Florida Metro Area Tops U.S. in Wellbeing for Fourth Time

Wednesday, April 17, 2019By Dan Witters, Gallup

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- For the fourth straight year, the Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida, metro area had the highest wellbeing across 156 U.S. communities, based on data collected in 2017 and 2018 as part of the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index. Salinas, California; Boulder, Colorado; Santa Rosa, California; and Ann Arbor, Michigan round out the top five metro areas. The Naples area ascended to the top spot in 2014-2015 and has since remained there. This marks the first time in 11 years of annual Well-Being Index reporting that the same city has topped the rankings four times in a row.

Top 5 Metro Areas, Overall Wellbeing in 2017-2018 Out of 156 Reportable Metropolitan Statistical Areas

Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL                    65.7
Salinas, CA                                                             64.6
Boulder, CO                                                            64.5
Santa Rosa, CA                                                      64.2
Ann Arbor, MI                                                          64.2

The Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest possible wellbeing and 100 represents the highest possible wellbeing. The Well-Being Index score for the U.S. and for each metro area is based on scores within each of the five essential elements of wellbeing:

  • Career: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
  • Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
  • Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  • Community: liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community
  • Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

In most cases, a difference of 1.0 to 2.0 points in the Well-Being Index score of any two areas represents a statistically significant gap and consists of meaningful differences in at least some of the five elements of wellbeing. Each city reported is represented as the broader metropolitan statistical area as defined by the federal government.

The Well-Being Index score for the Naples metro area, though remaining the highest in the U.S., has slipped from 67.6 for 2016-2017 to 65.7 in 2017-2018, a drop that parallels a significant two year decline in wellbeing nationally.

Gallup tracks wellbeing in metro areas using two-year rolling averages, allowing for larger sample sizes that improve the statistical accuracy of the data and allow more areas to be reported each year. For a full listing of all reportable metros, see the bottom of this article.

Each of the top five cities for 2017-2018 has frequented the list of the top 15 wellbeing cities numerous times in prior years. 

Naples Metro Area Among Nation's Best in Most Elements

The Naples metro area was among the top two metros across all elements except physical wellbeing, thus continuing to demonstrate the high levels of holistic wellbeing that has previously characterized it. Highlights for top-ranking cities in other areas of wellbeing in 2017-2018 include:

  • Boulder, a longtime pacesetter nationally in physical wellbeing, was the top U.S. city for the second year in a row for this element. The state of California provided the second- and third-ranked metros: Salinas and Santa Rosa.
  • McAllen-Edinburg-Mission topped the nation in career wellbeing, marking the fourth year in a row that the city has been among the highest five nationally.
  • Naples residents have the highest social wellbeing, edging out Montgomery, Alabama and fellow Floridian city, Ocala.
  • After Naples, the top metro areas in financial wellbeing are Ann Arbor, Michigan; and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California.
  • Community wellbeing is highest in the Naples, Asheville, North Carolina and Fort Collins, Colorado metros.

For more information, view an analysis of the current Gallup National Health and Well-Being report.