Residents respond to SB's miserable cities ranking

South Bend, Ind. The results of Gallup's most recent "Well-Being Index" ranks the South Bend-Mishawaka metro area 16th from the bottom of the 189-city list.

Gallup surveyed 178,000 Americans in the following categories: life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors and access to basic needs.

South Bend's score put the city at No. 174, among what some are calling the "miserable cities list."

"I was a little disappointed to hear about this most recent poll but we hear about different polls just about every day around here," said DTSB Exec. Director Aaron Perri. "Sometimes we're on the good list and sometimes we're on the bad list, based on which methodologies you choose to agree with."

Gallup noted some trends associated with the scores, which include an increased rate of obesity and declining perception of one's work environment.

Many South Bend residents in Downtown South Bend Tuesday afternoon said responded by saying they feel the City is on the upswing in many ways.

"You have to stay positive as best as you can despite the weather and despite bad economic times," said South Bend resident Aaron Goldstein. "You just have to stay positive and that's what a lot of people have to start remembering. The city is in an economic rebound."

Many residents noted that South Bend has been ranked on plenty of positive lists as well.

"We were on the smart and connected cities list right up there with Stockholm and Singapore as one of the smartest cities in the world," said Perri, referring to Lumosity's Smartest Cities 2013 list.

South Bend has also graced the ranks of the top cities for high tech innovation, top cities for home value, AARP best places to retire, the all-american cities list and lists of the best college football cities.

"Quality of life is a difficult thing to measure but certainly if you look at a city of our size and look at the amenities that we have available to us it's pretty impressive," Perri said.

Lifelong resident Lindsay Vest said the harsh winters might skew peoples' perceptions, but Downtown South Bend is an indicator of the city's vitality.

"The downtown is alive and thriving and if people dont know that they're crazy," Vest said.

2013's top spot on the index went to the Provo-Orem area of Utah, while last place went to the Huntington-Ashland metro area of West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.


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