Study: Miamians Physically Healthy but Among Most Financially Stressed in America

Runners during the 2016 Miami Marathon.
Runners during the 2016 Miami Marathon.
Photo by Amadeus McCaskill

Miamians tend to enjoy their lives. They believe they have purpose, enjoy their close network of friends and family, and are in some of the best physical shape of residents anywhere in the nation. Just don't bring up money. Because Dade County locals are also some of the most financially stressed in the country.

That's according to the latest "Community Well-Being Rankings and Access to Care" report from Gallup-Healthways Wellbeing Index. 

The annual survey conducts hundreds of thousands of interviews in every community in the nation each year to track "how people feel about and experience their daily lives" and to provide "a broad perspective on the aspects of life that matter most to people." 

The results are aggregated every year into a general well-being index. 

Of the 190 communities surveyed, the Miami–Fort Lauderdale–West Palm Beach area came in 49th overall, which was just outside the top ten for major metro areas. 

The well-being index is further broken down into five categories, and in some of them, Miamians do pretty well: 

  • eighth overall for physical well-being, described as "having good health and enough energy to get things done daily."
  • 18th overall for social well-being, described as "having supportive relationships and love in your life." 
  • 26th overall for purpose, described as "liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals."  

So basically, we like our friends, feel motivated to achieve more, and have the physical health to pursue our goals. But not all is fine in local well-being. Our ranks in the other two categories were far from exemplary. 

  • 86th overall for community, described as "liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community." 
  • 171st overall for financial well-being, "managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security." 

This is not surprising for a city known for its troubling income inequality and lack of affordable housing. 

It turns out, however, that Florida is particularly noted for being home to some of the highest-ranking communities in the nation. Our neighbors to the west, the Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island area, came in number one overall. The Sarasota area ranked third. 

Miami did actually rank higher than Florida's other major urban metro areas. Jacksonville was ranked 77th, Orlando was 79th, and Tampa had a particularly poor showing at 148th. 


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