<b>LOOK BUT DON’T TOUCH:</b> Over the decades, efforts to open up Hollister Ranch’s rural countryside and unpopulated beaches have gotten tenacious pushback from those who don’t want its natural splendor (and world-class surf spots) loved to death.
Paul Wellman

Santa Barbara was ranked 12th among U.S. communities with the most “well-being,” according to a report published this month by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which surveyed 189 communities nationwide.

“Many of the top well-being communities hail from California,” the study said. The Golden State claimed seven of the top 25 cities. Santa Cruz ranked third, with San Luis Obispo at seventh.

California as a whole “was well represented,” noted New York Times California columnist Mike McPhate. “Geographical gifts, it would appear, don’t hurt.”

The study, performed in 2015 to 2016, analyzed residents’ well-being across five elements, including purpose, social, financial, community, and physical. More than 350,000 telephone interviews were conducted nationally to collect this information.

The report found California is also home to three of the 25 lowest well-being communities — Chico, Bakersfield, and Stockton.

“The data and insights from this report can be used as a call-to-action for communities around the country,” the study said.


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