High unemployment, poor access to basic necessities such as food, shelter and medicine, and rising obesity rates continue to plague many of America's southern states, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index

The nationwide survey is based on daily interviews with with nearly 340,000 U.S. adults between January to December 2011. The index is an average of six categories: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment healthy behaviors, and physical health. 

Ten southern states had index scores that placed them in the lowest wellbeing group, while many Western states, including Hawaii, Wyoming, Alaska, Colorado and Utah, ranked among the top 10 happiest states.  

Click here to see the states >