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How Fulfilled Are You, KC?

February 26, 2016

by Jeff Pinkerton

An extensive survey and report by Gallup HealtNichols Fountainhways ranked the well-being of 190 metropolitan areas across the country. Where did Kansas City rank? Well, much like our geographic position, right in the middle.

KC appears in the third (or middle) quintile at number 111. Naples, Florida, had the highest overall rank followed by Salinas, California; North Port-Sarasota, Florida; and Fort Collins, Colorado. Among the largest metros, San Jose, Austin and San Antonio topped the list.

The report breaks down perceived well-being in five categories:

  • 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 energy to get things done daily.

Kansas City performed in the middle of the pack in each category, but had its best rankings in Financial and Community. Our lowest marks came in Social and Physical.

Reports that rank cities based on various characteristics are seemingly released on a daily basis. Most of them can safely be ignored, but I think this report has something important to tell us. People can choose to live in a city that they believe gives them the best opportunity to have the quality of life they want for themselves and their families. Being able to measure an overall sense of well-being and compare Kansas City to other metros can help us understand what we like about our hometown and where we wish things were a little better. It is also important to note that these rating factors (purpose, social, financial, community and physical) are largely things that we can change collectively if we want to.

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