Survey ranks Hickory area among 'most miserable' in US

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HICKORY, N.C. - A new survey released Monday of the 10 most miserable cities in America included an area not far from Charlotte.

Gallup-Healthways surveyed hundreds of thousands of Americans in 189 metropolitan areas in the U.S. in 2012 and 2013, recording the physical and emotional health of the residents, as well as financial, employment, and social indicators, among others.

The survey listed the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton region as the fifth most miserable city in the country.

The survey claimed roughly 51 percent of residents in the Hickory region were considered to be struggling, based on self-evaluations of their current lives and futures, compared to just 44 percent of Americans.

Residents were less optimistic about their futures than respondents in all but seven other cities, according to the survey.

About 19 percent of those surveyed said they did not have enough energy to keep pace with their daily lives within the previous 24 hours, which was close to last nationwide.

Additionally, only 77.4 percent said they had not been sad within the past 24 hours, among the lowest rates in the nation.

The median household income in Hickory was just $37,364 in 2012, among the lowest in the country, according to the survey.

According to Gallup-Healthways, residents in America’s most miserable cities were less likely to be in good physical health and far more likely to report unhealthy behaviors. Residents in all of the nation’s 10 most miserable areas were more likely to smoke than the average American.