A recent survey from Gallup-Healthways looked at the future livability of US States based on a number of factors. As you may have read, Maine ranked last in the category of “Standard of Living” where predominantly Mainers said that their standard of living was getting worse.
Maine ranks in the bottom across the several economic areas measured, coming in 48th for economic confidence, 45th for job creation and 41st for those employed full time. Maine also came in 47th in positive outlook for life in five years. In other words, the glass is almost empty. Other areas related to our health (which is related to our economy) include our rank at 41st for “easy to find a safe place to exercise” and 25th for those who smoke and 25th for those who visited a dentist in the last year. Overall, Maine comes in 11th of states with the worst future livability.
The survey did show a few bright spots for Maine. We rank 8th and above all other New England states for the indicator of “having a manager who treats you like a partner, not a boss” which says something towards the egalitarian nature of the workplace. We also ranked 11th for ease of finding clean, safe water.
What I’m optimistic about is that none of this is written in stone. Maine policy makers, business leaders and Maine people have the opportunity to improve our state’s outlook. We can achieve this with problem-solving, a collaborative spirit and by tapping into the talents and expertise that exist here in Maine. We must pull together the ingenuity that Maine people are so famous for, and change our future.