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Big jerks rank Dayton as one of the 'most miserable' cities in America

A trio of whom I can only assume are losers over at a website I have never heard of has labeled Dayton the fourth "most miserable" metro area in these United States.

Their website -- something called 24/ -- based its description of the Gem City on data from 2014 the Well-Being Inde x from Gallup-Healthways, a well-known source that sometimes paints with a broad brush.


Based on about 176,000 interviews with U.S. adults, The Gallup-Healthways Index (released today) reportedly considered the following in its rank of the top 100 metro areas:

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  • Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
  • Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
  • Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  • Community: liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community
  • Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

Dayton lands fourth on the list. Indianapolis is fifth on the Well-Being Inde x and  according to 24/7WallSt, is only slightly less miserable than Dayton.

It is disappointing that Dayton and three other Ohio cities -- Toledo, Columbus and Cincinnati -- made Gallup-Healthways' Lowest Overall Well-Being list, but neither the index nor 24/'s poor interpretation of the results tell this region's story.


Twisting numbers to paint a negative picture is probably a lot more fun than it seems.

Here is  4/'s twist, which clearly demonstrates it knows nothing of this region or its people:

"Dayton is among the metro areas with the lowest well-being. Like many regions in Ohio, the hollowing out of the manufacturing industry in the US has put a great deal of strain on the Dayton area. Dayton, the primary city in the metro, had a population of roughly 140,000 in 2013, down almost 50% from its peak in the 1960s. And the area at large has not fared much better in recent years. From the middle of 2010 through the middle of last year, the metro’s population grew just 0.1%, one of the slowest growth rates. A number of health and lifestyle factors also help explain the low level of reported well-being in Dayton. For one, nearly 40% of households in the metro area were run by a single parent, one of the higher rates of any metro area in the nation."

As Dayton Business Journal writer recently pointed out in a piece from that publication, Dayton has received beaucoup positive national attention lately.

Dayton is listed among the Forbes most affordable cities, as well as one of the best cities for engineers. The city has been named among the nation's 10 most creative cities.

Besides that, there is a vibrancy building in the community from downtown housing (the Downtown Dayton Partnership, a nonprofit group that promotes downtown, has estimated that downtown apartment units are 98 percent occupied. Its condos are 97 percent full) to the bubbling foodie and brew cultures to institutions to neighborhood pride.

More than $400 million have been invested in the greater downtown since 2010, according to the Greater Downtown Dayton Plan.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley expressed as much in her recent Daytonian of the Week profile.

"Thanks to the legacy of great people and businesses that came before us, Dayton has the cultural assets of a city two to three times its size from the Art Institute to the world class shows at the Schuster Center to the First Four held every year at UD Arena. So in terms of a value proposition, there is no better place to live, raise a family or start a business than Dayton," she said.

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