Utah's Provo-Orem region ranks first in overall well-being: survey

SALT LAKE CITY Tue Mar 25, 2014 6:00pm EDT

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SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - Utah's Provo-Orem metropolitan area sits at the top of a list of U.S. communities with the highest level of overall well-being, beating out sunny Honolulu and Boulder, Colorado, a recent survey conducted by Gallup-Healthways showed on Tuesday.

The Provo-Orem area beat out 188 other communities for the top honor in a well-being index based on factors such as emotional and physical health, job satisfaction, healthy behaviors, community safety and access to food, shelter and health care.

Two Colorado cities came in second and third - Boulder and the Fort Collins-Loveland - while Honolulu was ranked fourth and the northern California San Jose-Santa Clara-Sunnyvale area was in fifth place.

About 45 miles south of Salt Lake City, the Provo-Orem area of more than half a million residents is the third-largest metropolitan area in Mormon-dominated Utah.

It is home to the Mormon church-owned Brigham Young University, Utah Valley University, technology giant Novell and the Sundance Resort. The cities sit at the base of the Wasatch mountains.

Provo Mayor John Curtis said the area's combination of affordable living, exceptional recreational opportunities, quality education and entrepreneurial business climate make the area a great place to live.

Provo and the greater Utah County area often fare well in many of these annual comparative contests, he said. This is the sixth time Gallup-Healthways has conducted the well-being index survey and the second time Provo-Orem has earned the top slot, Curtis noted.

"This is not a fluke, onetime thing," he said. "We're always up there at the top."

Gallup-Healthways well-being index findings are based on telephone survey responses from more than 500,000 people, a Gallup news release said. Each ranked community had more than 300 survey responses. The surveys were conducted between January 2012 and January 2013, Gallup said.

(Editing by Cynthia Johnston, Bernard Orr)

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