How does the U.S. Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index work?

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index® surveys 500 Americans every day. The index is a partnership between Gallup and Healthways that began in January 2008.

As of Jan. 1, 2014, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index now includes an updated set of questions, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being 5™. The updated survey represents the culmination of extensive research -- including approximately 2 million surveys of individuals on their perceptions of well-being -- and statistical modeling. Roughly half of the question items in the updated version are unchanged from the original index.

The updated Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index includes five elements of well-being, each with its own score on a 0-10 scale:

  • Purpose: Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
  • Social: Having supportive relationships and love in your life
  • Financial: Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  • Community: Liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community
  • Physical: Having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

The index also continues to track key outcome metrics such as life evaluation and daily emotions.

Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index 2008-2013

Data collected prior to Jan. 1, 2014, through the original Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index are based on six domains rather than the five elements in the updated index.

  • Life Evaluation: Present life situation and anticipated life situation
  • Emotional Health: Daily feelings and mental state
  • Work Environment: Job satisfaction and workplace interactions
  • Physical Health: Physical ability to live a full life
  • Healthy Behavior: Engaging in behaviors that affect physical health
  • Basic Access: Feeling safe, satisfied, and optimistic within a community

Using a subset of "bridge" question items included in the new survey, Gallup and Healthways will produce a composite score that is comparable with scores from prior years for trending purposes.

Gallup reports results from the Gallup-Healthways Index in daily, weekly, and monthly averages and in articles.

Learn more about the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.