Connecticut ranked seventh among states in overall health and well-being last year, according to the latest Community Well-Being Index from the BU School of Public Health. According to the Index, “well-being is about the interaction between physical health, finding your daily work and experiences fulfilling, having strong social relationships and access to the resources you need, feeling financially secure, and being a part of a true community.”
Connecticut’s well-being has continuously improved since the first Index in 2013. We performed best on access to healthcare, advanced degrees and median household income. In 2020 nationally, financial well-being decreased while social well-being increased.
However, while Connecticut is improving, we are still behind most of our comparator states.
Among counties and metro areas, southwestern Connecticut residents enjoy the highest level of well-being while the eastern part of the state ranks lowest.
The Index goes beyond similar geographic US health comparisons that focus on physical health, access to care, and publicly available measures of social determinants of health. The Index considers over 600 health risk factors of individual well-being – physical, financial, social, community and having a sense of purpose – and Social Determinants of Health – access to healthcare, food, resources, and economic security, housing, and transportation. Community metrics include access to parks and green space, advanced and college degrees, physical inactivity, and households receiving SNAP. The metrics are from their surveys of every US community are linked to health, wealth, and economic prosperity in the literature. Unfortunately, the Index doesn’t include much detail on the individual metrics, making it difficult to know where Connecticut needs to improve.