We Feel Good

Feb 23, 2016 | Uncategorized

The Fort Collins-Loveland area ranks 4th in the nation out of 190 communities on the 2015 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index which was just released. You can find the report here.

They define ‘well-being’ as ‘important aspects of how people feel about and experience their daily lives.’

The top story in today’s Coloradoan is about this index. When the reporter called me for a comment, he said that when he interviewed a Gallup researcher he learned that Fort Collins only ranked 138th when asked “Is there a leader in your life who makes you enthusiastic about the future?”

My initial response was that while that’s an interesting question, is it important in light of the fact that Fort Collins ranks so high in overall citizen satisfaction? Maybe people in Fort Collins are more self-directed and don’t spend a lot to time waiting for ‘a leader in your life who makes you enthusiastic.’ To me it is data in search of a deeper meaning that doesn’t exist.

Like all rankings and studies, this one can be picked at. I especially disagree with the Gallup researcher’s focus on our ‘perceived lack of leadership.’ The key word is ‘perceived.’ Citizens here are pretty well informed. When elected leaders have been found wanting voters have turned them out. That’s rare, however, with voters generally re-electing incumbents, in essence showing satisfaction with leaders.

Though the reporter got my comment wrong, I did indicate that an area of dissatisfaction I hear frequently concerns under-employment (as opposed to ‘unemployment’ as reported in the article). We rank 9th in the nation in under-employment, meaning that there are a lot of citizens working at jobs below their education attainment level. Perhaps that influences the answers to the leader question.

But, hey, talk about splitting hairs! This is another good news story about our area.