The Gallup Poll was founded by George Gallup in 1935, and in 1936 successfully used its scientific polling practices to predict that Franklin D. Roosevelt would defeat Alfred Landon in that year's Presidential race. Ever since then the Gallup Poll has been the Gold Standard for reliable public opinion.
The well-being indexes included in the poll were: Life Evaluation, Emotional Health, Work Environment, Physical Health, Healthy Behaviors, and Basic Access to utilities and transportation. In all six sub-indexes, Provo proved to be at the top.
Gallup contacted over half a million people, between the ages of 18 and 65, by phone, across the United States, for this particular survey.
"There are tangible policies that communities can adopt to actively cultivate and improve residents' well-being," said Dan Buettner, National Geographic Fellow and founder of Blue Zones LLC. "Policies that nudge people into healthy activities -- where it is easy to walk to the store, bike to a friend's house, get access to fresh produce, and be surrounded by healthy-minded, supportive friends -- are ones that make the healthy choice, the easy choice. Sustained transformation depends on building an environment and establishing social policies that support and reinforce these programs."
Key elements of community well-being, such as learning new and interesting things, providing safe places to exercise, routine trips to the dentist, and smoking cessation, are all key vanguards of high well-being locations. Leaders can leverage these learnings and advocate their execution in their own communities.
Some of the specific key elements that help give Provo, Utah, such a strong sense of well-being include:
- Easy access to hundreds of miles of ski trails.
- The fishing on Utah Lake, as well as the summer swimming at public beaches, which are all close to Provo.
- The strong religious element that contributes to public safety and moral standards.
- The vibrant economy; current unemployment rates are way below the national average, at around 4%.
- Outstanding cultural venues for theater, dance, literature, cinema, and music.
- An exuberant array of fine dining establishments, with emphasis on international cuisine.
- Moderate cost of living index.
- A mild climate, with cool, dry winters, and hot summers moderated by mountain downdrafts and low humidity.
- A stimulating atmosphere of scholarship and inquiry, due to the close proximity of both Brigham Young Univeristy and the Utah Valley University.