July 23, 2012
Where will you want to live in 20 years? According to a recent Gallup study, the hottest destinations in 2032 might include Iowa…and Minnesota.
When most people hear Iowa they think cornfields and primaries, not a popular destination to move to. But based on the results of Gallup’s new future livability index, which rated states on everything from economic vitality to physical wellbeing, Midwest states like Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North and South Dakota, and Kansas received the highest marks. “The best place to live in 2032 will have tackled unemployment, financial worry, health care costs, obesity, and education challenges,” wrote Gallup researcher Dan Witters, who led the survey.
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According to the survey, the Midwestern states have been more successful in laying the foundations for the future than others. Many currently have high employment and job creation rates, and residents reported having easy access to clean water, all of which may account for their optimism about the future—54 percent of respondents say they're hopeful about the Midwest's economy. The Mountain region came in as a close second, with residents in states like Montana, Arizona and Colorado having easy access to clean air, water, exercise, and health care.
Other states didn’t fare so well. The East and Central South region, which includes Kentucky, Alabama and Mississippi, came in last, trailing in most of the 13 categories including employment, job creation, and economic confidence. They were also the most likely to have high rates of obesity and smoking.
So will 2032 be a repeat of 1840 with another westward migration to resettle the heartland of America? Witters said that while he expects these factors to have “some influence on who lives where and why, it won’t create major demographic shifts.”
For the survey, the country was divided into nine Census-defined regions and ranked from 1st (best) to 13th (worst) on the 13 metrics. Results are based on 480,000 telephone interviews conducted as part of Gallup Daily tracking and the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index survey from Jan. 2, 2011 through May 9, 2012.