Poll: Tampa Bay Worst Large Metro Area for Well-Being

Mar 29, 2013

Tampa ranks lowest among the nation's largest metro areas in a national well-being survey. With an edifice nicknamed "Beer Can Building," we never stood a chance.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons

A bit of bad news on this Good Friday: If you thought living in the land of sunshine and freshly squeezed orange juice would make you the picture of health, then you're sadly mistaken.

In a new Gallup-Healthways poll, Tampa Bay scored lowest for well-being among the country's 52 largest metro areas.

The findings were based on phone interviews last year with 353,563 adults, who were asked to rank their hometowns on six factors: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors and access to basic necessities.

Here's an excerpt from the results:

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla., displaced Las Vegas-Paradise, Nev., for the large metro area with the lowest wellbeing, due mostly to low life evaluations and emotional health scores.

Apparently, what happens in Vegas... isn't as bad as what happens in Tampa Bay.

Among metro areas with at least 1 million residents, Tampa Bay had the lowest composite score. Here's your bottom five, America:

  1. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater (64.7)
  2. Las Vegas, Nev. (64.8) 
  3. Providence, R.I. (65.0)
  4. Louisville, Ky. (65.0)
  5. Riverside-San Bernardino, Calif. (65.1)

The big cities that scored the best were as follows:

  1. Washington, D.C. (71.3)
  2. San Francisco, Calif. (71.0)
  3. San Jose, Calif. (70.8)
  4. Denver, Colo. (70.4)
  5. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. (70.3)

Now, before you pack up that U-Haul and head for D.C., it's worth noting that the highest-ranking metro area -- large or small -- was Lincoln, Neb. Worst off overall was Charleston, W. Va.