Area ranked next to worst

By William K. Alcorn


The Youngstown/Warren/Boardman Metropolitan Statistical Area is ranked overall next to worst among 188 United States cities by a Gallup/Healthways poll that measured residents’ well-being.

Last was the Huntington, W.Va./Ashland, Ky., MSA, and at the top of the list is Boulder, Colo., according to the poll.

Youngstown Mayor Jay Williams said Monday he had not seen the poll, but he said he and many others in the Mahoning Valley spend their time trying to improve life for the residents.

“I guess Gallup has to have something to do,” he said.

The poll surveyed topics including work environment, job satisfaction, community safety, optimism about the future and physical and emotional health.

According to the survey, Americans living in cities in the East and the West tend to have higher well-being, while those in the Midwest and the South tend to have lower well-being, where three-fourths of the lower-range well-being cities are located.

The survey also found that, on average, residents living in large metropolitan areas have higher levels of well-being than those living in small towns or rural areas.

Nikki Duggan, spokeswoman for Healthways, said the Youngstown/Warren/Boardman MSA ranked 109 for work environment with 88.4 percent saying they are satisfied, which she said is a pretty good score, and that 86.6 say they are working in a job which uses their strengths.

In the community environment category, which includes safe neighborhoods, Youngstown/Warren/Boardman ranked 164 out of 188, with just 38.9 percent believing their city is improving compared to 47.7 percent in Ohio and 54.9 percent nationally, Duggan said.

The local MSA rated 188 or last in the nation in optimism about where the city will be in five years, 185 in emotional health and 186 in physical health, according to the survey.

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