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Work stinks and is getting worse. But life overall is getting better.

That’s what your neighbors and other residents of Ohio have been telling pollsters for the last year about the conditions of their lives. 

In 2008, only about a third — 34.5 percent — of people in Greater Cleveland thought highly of their lives and of their prospects over the next five years. In 2009, that jumped to 44.9 percent, only about a point below the national average.

The Cleveland area, which includes Lorain and Mentor, and the Akron area ranked well above average in the Physical Health and Basic Access categories. But we ranked near the bottom in our healthy behaviors and our perception of work environment and opportunities.

Northeast Ohio also ranked low in how we viewed our lives today and how they would be in five years. But Cleveland improved its ranking in this category significantly from last year, as Ohio overall had the 10th-largest increase in that category’s scores.

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