Three Mid-South States Listed As ‘Most Miserable’

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(WREG-TV) If you live in Tennessee, Arkansas or Mississippi, then you live in one of the ten most miserable states in the USA, according to a Gallup Study in USA Today.

More than 176,000 people were interviewed by the The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, from all 50 states last year, measuring the physical and emotional health of Americans across the country.

West Virginia was ranked the most miserable state in the country.

The survey assigned a well-being index score to each of the top ten states and determined their resident's life expectancy, percent of obesity, median household income and percent of persons with a high school diploma.

Some people think describing a state as miserable is a bit extreme.

Tennessee ranked seventh on the Gallup survey. So according to the poll,  people living in Tennessee were most likely to have a variety of physical health problems and chronic pain.

They were less likely to feel safe walking at night and have low confidence in the state's economy.

Brenda Edwards lives in the Raleigh area of Memphis and thinks the word miserable may be a matter of opinion.

"I think misery is about the person, I mean, what's inside of you. It doesn't matter where you live, you have to make it happen," said Edwards.

She said when it comes to crime, Tennessee is probably no worse than any other state on the list.

"I think it's just your surroundings and the areas in which you live and being cautious," said Edwards.

Across the river, Arkansas was sixth on the survey, with a slightly lower life expectancy than Tennessee.

They're also one of the most physically unhealthy states where nearly 20 percent live below the poverty line.

Mississippi was the highest of the three states on the list, at number three.

The survey found over a quarter of the people surveyed didn't have enough money for food or health care at some point during the 12 months prior to being interviewed.

The median household income in Mississippi was the lowest in the U.S. and poor health behaviors contribute to the state having the highest obesity rate in the country.

The survey said people in Mississippi felt more negative about their work environment than anywhere else in the country.

Amber Dickerson lives in Olive Branch and never thought of her home state as miserable.

"Very happy, love the state. You know it's really great," said Dickerson.

Tennessee: "Tennessee residents were among the most likely to have a variety of physical health problems in 2013, including diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and chronic pain. People living in Tennessee were also less likely to feel safe walking at night than residents of many other states."

Arkansas: "Arkansas rated as one of the most physically unhealthy states as of 2013, ranking behind just two other states. Only 71.8% of residents were able to partake in age-appropriate activities, among the lowest rates in the nation, while 36.8% of respondents reported high blood pressure, one the highest figures of any state."

Mississippi: "Respondents were among the most likely in the nation to lack access to basic necessities. More than a quarter of people surveyed in the state indicated they did not have money for food at some point in the previous 12 months, while nearly as many lacked money for health care. By a number of measures, the state was one of the absolute poorest in the nation."

The following is a list of America's most miserable states:

10. Louisiana

9. Oklahoma

8. Missouri

7. Tennessee

6. Arkansas

5. Ohio

4. Alabama

3. Mississippi

2. Kentucky

1. West Virginia


    • Jane

      Actually, it’s more of a 3-4 month winter in NYS, just as the calendar dictates. Out of staters tend to exaggerate and be drama queens about it is all. I lived there for half of my life (and am a native of New York State), so I would know.

      I was actually pretty happy in Memphis when I lived there…but then again, I have a good education, which allowed me to get a very good paying job. The gym I went to was right around the corner, I had access to fresh produce most of the year, and I ran before dawn around my neighborhood most days I lived down there (something I can’t do up in Maine…but you don’t see Maine as one of the most miserable states, do ya?).

    • Jane

      Depends on how well educated you are. Education, especially in the right fields, means better paying jobs. I made good money when I lived in Memphis and the cost of living there was cheaper than anywhere else I’ve lived.

      It’s all a matter of perspective.

      • Will

        Good paying jobs doesn’t deter the fact that crime, ghetto thugs, and liberalism makes living in Memphis undesirable…unless you haven’t noticed people are leaving it faster than they can come in.

      • Cherrie

        Will, yes they are and coming to MS. Which means they are worst off living in MS than they were in TN according to the list.

    • Cherrie

      Add the Metro Nashville to the list. There crime is just a high as Memphis. I’ve travel throughout the state and when I’m in the Davidson County area, there is plenty of crime in the Metro districts. It was like turning on the local News Channel and the first reports is all about crime.

  • Katrina Myers Bowser

    Eh, don’t feel bad… WV’s last again. I grew up along the WV/MD border and look at MD’s ranking. Trust me, life’s no better on the other side of the bridge. They probably drove around and picked out the most miserable looking people they could find, you know, just getting released from jail or something, lol.

  • Daisy Day

    The last time I checked I lived in Memphis, Tennessee!!! We have some of the best medical facilities in the USA, if not the world. We get people from all over the world coming here for medical treatments. I visit and drive Downtown and other Memphis areas at all times of the day and night and I feel safer here than other cities in the US and Europe.

    • Cherrie

      Yes, TN does and I for one use the medical facilities there while living in another surrounding state which does not have good quality medical units. You can murder anything with the tongue. Stop tearing up your city and do something. Oh but wait, many sits on these blogs and complain about everything even spurring their hate, but would not say it out loud in front of people. COWARDS!

  • ROB

    They are republican due to the fact that the people in those states are sick of supporting the welfare systems. Where democrats sit around and collect their lazy checks.

    • Will

      Case in point: MEMPHIS….take Memphis out of the state and Tennessee would be a lot higher on that list….headlines like “10 people shot in 5 separate shootings” doesn’t make people want to even think about living in Memphis.

    • Joe Bo

      Whats soo sad is the fact that there are greater numbers of poor whites in TN, MS, and ARK getting aid from the government than Blacks.

  • Mph Pride

    I agree with you Daisy… one thing a lot of people don’t understand is that Memphis is blamed for the things that happen in all of it’s surrounding counties, Tipton, Millington, and other counties like that, also things that happen in West Memphis, Marion and Southaven. But the city as a whole is a real nice place to live and the majority of ones that decided to move only left the city of Memphis but stayed close by. I also believe the one that complain mostly about the city has never been outside the city or state as that matter to realize that there is no place like home ( Memphis ).

    • Kevin

      I agree … a lot of these low-class people like the Wills and a few other regulars that come here complaining has never been anywhere. I feel sorry for them too. They are the ones that these poll stats come from … they are the most Miserable people of us all. I think someone mentioned that these are the cowards that hide behind thier computers and spew racial comments because they are scared to speak out or even look into the eyes of the next person in public …

  • ihateallthingssnowbeastattiud

    Ding, Ding, Ding. You hit the jackpot with that comment. Sorry, nothing is left in the pot due to paying for all the worthless dems. . Sorry, again.

  • Brad

    I am an educated young man who has lived in multiple states. I was born and raised in Millington. After all my travels and all the cities I have lived in. Memphis is one of the happiest cities I’ve ever had to pleasure to live. We have our problems, but so does ever other city or state. It has nothing to do with republicans, democrats, thugs, or middle class. It has to do with a state of mind. People are ignorant to assume that it has to do with which political agenda the state follows. I’m happy where I am (Memphis) and that’s what truly matters.

  • Sam

    I am originally from MS, but have lived in Tn for a number of years now. My parents & other family are still in MS & I see basically the same prices in my town as in theirs. The job market is also no better here than there. The job availability in both locations hinges on education levels of applicants. I have also seen firsthand that rural Mississippi schools are definitely inferior to Tennesse schools. The differences between the school systems alone obdviously has a massive impact on the number of people without high school diplomas.

  • jason

    I been all over the world and memphis is the worst city i ever seen. HELL i been to iraq twice and memphis reminds me alot of iraq like the roads holyshit

  • Observant citizen

    And you’re going to need those “top notch” medical facilities after you are shot, beaten during a robbery or your daughter or mother is gang raped in this cess pool city. If there is worse than memphis, I haven’t seen it in my 51 years. By the way does anyone know where I can get a SEASON PASS to a front end alignment shop? I just hit my usual 62 gaping potholes on the way home from work!

  • Chris Williams

    @Nick- California, NY, and Maryland have large percentages of A.A’s as well. And they did NOT make the most miserable list. TRY AGAIN

  • Hard Truths

    1) Memphis IS the black eye in Tennessee, no mistake about it.

    2) Western Maryland is a whole lot like West Virginia. They are agitating to secede from Maryland, so they can have their squalor and misery all to themselves. Good riddance to the goobers.

    3) People who do not have the perspective of having lived elsewhere think Memphis and Tennessee are just dandy.

    4) Memphis has a low cost of living, so it can be nice for people who make good money — that and the lovely architecture — but does that really make up for the endemic crime, stupidity, prejudice, lack of education — probably the lack of a CAPACITY to learn?

    Memphis is deeply dysfunctional, rednecks, hoodies — all the large demographic sectors are responsible. An unattractive backwater.

    Guns, Bibles, and RACISM.

    But for people who haven’t traveled, Memphis is some kind of “normal”.

    I stay here only because I work for the betterment of a minority population in this city. They need an honest and capable advocate.

    Most of my friends and professional colleagues (black and white alike) come from elsewhere — and all of us shake our heads and roll our eyes at Memphis..

  • Peter

    Tipton and Millington isn’t bad. Memphis is horrible. Also Memphis has to have the best medical because everybody is getting shot up thank to the A.A.’s

  • Peter

    Also getting a great education is great and everyone needs one. The best education is just education it doesn’t guarantee you a job. There are great jobs out there that don’t require a education. Do you know what lies outside of your comfort zone? Oppertunity

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