Gallup survey finds people in Denver lack purpose and are lonely

The Denver metro was recently ranked the 57th out of 189 communities for well-being in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
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Double protected bike lanes on South Broadway. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

A cyclist rides along South Broadway in Denver. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Denver metro was recently ranked the 57th out of 189 communities for well-being, and it has very little to do with the fitness of the residents.

Residents ranked Denver low for being a place where they like what they're doing each day and lower as a spot for supportive relationships and love, according to the 2016 Community Well-Being Rankings compiled by Gallup and Healthways.

The annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index released Tuesday ranks communities on how residents feel about their purpose and social, financial, community and physical well-being. The companies used data from 2015-2016 phone interviews of 354,473 adults across all 50 states and Washington, D.C. to compile the ranking.

Denver's poor measures for purpose and social well-being dragged the metro behind other population hubs in Colorado. Boulder claimed the No. 10 spot on the list just ahead of Fort Collins. Colorado Springs came in farther down the line at No. 44.

Pueblo and Grand Junction weren't included.

The Naples metro in Florida stole the No. 1 spot on the list. Fort Smith along the Arkansas-Oklahoma line came in last place.

Well-being in the U.S. generally has regional patterns with the Northern Plains, Mountain West and some Atlantic states reporting higher levels, while states in the South and Midwest consistently lag in key elements, according to the 2016 State Well-Being Rankings released earlier this year.

Colorado came in at No. 5 on that list behind Hawaii, Alaska, South Dakota and Maine.

"While there is a significant range in state-level well-being scores, the range in community well-being scores is even greater, and sometimes community differences are even substantial within the same state. These differences can provide opportunities for low well-being communities to view examples of best practices in similar cities — both geographically and culturally — nationwide," said Dan Witters, research director for Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index,  in a post.

  • Social: 148 out of 189
  • Purpose: 114 out of 189
  • Financial: 96 out 189
  • Community: 55 out of 189
  • Physical: 24 out of 189

Source: Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index

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