* When it comes to quality of life, studies have shown that a feeling of social connectedness is one of the most important factors.
“The number one indicator of success in life and having a fulfilling, satisfying life is the quality of your relationships,” says one sociology professor.
“We are social animals, and we don’t do well when we don’t have community connections.
Those connections are one factor US News & World Report used to rank US states by quality of life;
which could explain why their environments are less polluted as well as why residents feel more socially connected in their tight-knit small towns.