The 15 most supportive states (and why)

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Free Hugs

As social creatures, humans inherently crave the contact and support of others. Even the most introverted among us still need the love of family and a few friends to be happy. Lack of social support has been linked to a myriad of diseases — both psychological and physical.

But even in today’s world of hyper-connectedness and perpetual online social interaction, studies show that many people still feel lonely.

Given the rise of depression in the U.S., the experts at HealthGrove ranked the states from least to most supportive. Using data from the Health Indicators Warehouse and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, they examined the rates of social and emotional support across America.

The data comes from responses to the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey question “How often do you get the social and emotional support you need?” People were considered to receive sufficient support if they reported getting social/emotional support all or most of the time.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, people in states with higher levels of poverty generally reported feeling less emotionally supported, adding to a growing body of evidence that poverty is one of the greatest causes of “ill-health and suffering.”

Based on the percentage of adults feeling socially and emotionally supported most or all of the time, HealthGrove’s experts ranked states (including the District of Columbia) from least to most supportive. Poverty and depression rates are also included for context. In the case of ties, the city with the lowest rate of depression is ranked higher.

Note: Data was not reported by all counties.

#15. Washington

 

Percent of Adults Who Feel Supported: 83.1
Rate of Depression: 7.3%
Poverty Rate: 14.1%

#14. Colorado

 

Percent of Adults Who Feel Supported: 83.1
Rate of Depression: 6.3%
Poverty Rate: 12.9%

#13. South Dakota

 

Percent of Adults Who Feel Supported: 83.2
Rate of Depression: 5.6%
Poverty Rate: 14%

#12. Vermont

 

Percent of Adults Who Feel Supported: 83.5
Rate of Depression: 7.6%
Poverty Rate: 12.3%

#11. Delaware

 

Percent of Adults Who Feel Supported: 83.5
Rate of Depression: 7%
Poverty Rate: 12.9%

#10. Idaho

 

Percent of Adults Who Feel Supported: 83.6
Rate of Depression: 7.4%
Poverty Rate: 15.6%

#9. Maine

 

Percent of Adults Who Feel Supported: 83.7
Rate of Depression: 8%
Poverty Rate: 14%

#8. Wyoming

 

Percent of Adults Who Feel Supported: 83.8
Rate of Depression: 7.1%
Poverty Rate: 10.9%

#7. Wisconsin

 

Percent of Adults Who Feel Supported: 83.9
Rate of Depression: 6.9%
Poverty Rate: 13.5%

#6. North Dakota

 

Percent of Adults Who Feel Supported: 84
Rate of Depression: 6%
Poverty Rate: 11.6%

#5. Kansas

 

Percent of Adults Who Feel Supported: 84.3
Rate of Depression: 6.8%
Poverty Rate: 13.9%

#4. Iowa

 

Percent of Adults Who Feel Supported: 84.7
Rate of Depression: 7.3%
Poverty Rate: 12.6%

#3. Utah

 

Percent of Adults Who Feel Supported: 84.8
Rate of Depression: 9.5%
Poverty Rate: 12.6%

#2. Oregon

 

Percent of Adults Who Feel Supported: 84.8
Rate of Depression: 8.4%
Poverty Rate: 16.5%

#1. Minnesota

 

Percent of Adults Who Feel Supported: 85.9
Rate of Depression: 6.6%
Poverty Rate: 11.2%

Correlation Between Poverty and Emotional Support by County

 

Research Conditions on HealthGrove