Are Overachieving Minnesotans Exhausted?

Are Overachieving Minnesotans Exhausted?

A new national ranking casts an ominous shadow on the much-touted good life in Minnesota.

Are Overachieving Minnesotans Exhausted? A new national ranking casts an ominous shadow on the much-touted good life in Minnesota.

To the national media, the Minnesota archetype is a vibrant college graduate who jogs around lakes, bikes on weekends, eats organic food, reads a lot and earns a big paycheck at a Fortune 500 company.

That image is supported by some facts and a menagerie of studies showing that Minnesota is above average by many health, exercise and academic measures.

  • Minneapolis was deemed the “third most literate” U.S. city last year in a Connecticut university’s study. The high number of libraries and bookstores and high level of newspaper readers pushed Minneapolis to the top tier; St. Paul wasn’t far behind, at No. 7.
  • Bicycling magazine has declared Minneapolis the No. 1 bike-friendly city in the nation.
  • Minnesota finished sixth last year in “America’s Health Rankings,” which rates behavior, health outcomes and other factors.
  • And in the competition for academic bragging rights, Minnesota boasted the fourth-highest SAT scores in 2013, trailing only Illinois, North Dakota and Michigan.

While the locals and local media are quick to trumpet these rankings, a new national ranking reveals a darker side to all that overachievement.

Lantern, an online and mobile tool for evaluating people’s “mind health,” determined that Minnesota is the 21st least “emotionally recharged” state. New Hampshire earned the ranking for the most emotionally recharged residents, at 75 percent. By comparison, only 53 percent of us are “recharged”—disturbing metrics, to be sure.

According to Lantern, states that rate highly on the recharge scale have “residents who regularly learn something new, share a moment of closeness with a loved one, have a meaningful conversation with a friend, do a good deed for someone else or engage in other activities that help them truly rest, recharge and unwind.”

Utah, another industrious, come-in-under-budget, no-drama kind of place, was the least recharged state. Which makes us wonder if recharging is just another name for sloth, the kind of porch sitting and partying that happens in Indiana and Louisiana, two of the most recharged states.

See, it always works out for us in the end. —Liz Fedor