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article imageThe happiest states in America revealed

By Tim Sandle     Sep 16, 2019 in Travel
Some places are ‘happier’ than others, albeit with ‘happiness’ being difficult to define and needing to be assessed using different criteria. A new study by WalletHub gets into the detail of the ‘happiest’ states in the U.S.
With the U.S. ranking No. 19 on this year’s World Happiness Report, down one spot since the previous edition, and research showing that money up to a certain dollar amount can contribute to happiness, the personal-finance website WalletHub has released its report on 2019’s Happiest States in America.
To determine where U.S. citizens have the highest satisfaction with life, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 31 key indicators of happiness. The data set ranges from emotional health to income level to sports participation rate.
On this basis the happiest states in the U.S. were found to be:
1 Hawaii
2 Utah
3 Minnesota
4 California
5 New Jersey
6 Idaho
7 Massachusetts
8 Maryland
9 Nebraska
10 Connecticut
The five ‘least happy’ states were: Louisiana, Mississippi, Alaska, Arkansas, and West Virginia.
One metric that doesn’t appear to influence ‘happiness’ is wealth, beyond a certain point. Happiness only increases with wealth up to an annual income of $75,000 to $95,000, according to a review on Money.com.
The following video provides background into the study and the methodology:
With any such poll there are different extremes, depending upon which metric is examined. Taking depression, for example, Hawaii was found to have the lowest share of adult depression, at around 12 percent, which stands as 2.3 times lower than in Maine, which was found to have the highest rate at 27 percent.
With suicides, New York has the fewest suicides (as assessed per 100,000 residents), at just 8 / 100,000, which is 3.6 times fewer than in Montana, which has the most at 29 per 100,000.
Another factor that can fuel unhappiness is a long period without a job. On this metric, North Dakota has the lowest long-term unemployment rate, 13 percent, which is 3.4 times lower than in New Mexico, which has the highest level of unemployment, at 45 percent.
A sign of happiness is the willingness of people to volunteer for different activities. Here Utah has the highest volunteer rate, 51 percent, which stands as 2.2 times higher than in Florida, where the rate is the lowest at 23 percent.
Marriage is another indicator used to assess happiness and separation providing an alternative assessment. With this measure, Utah has the lowest separation and divorce rate, at 16 percent, which is 1.6 times lower than in Nevada, which has the highest divorce and separation rate, at 26 percent.
Commenting on the study, in relation to where people live, Professor Shelly Smith-Acuña, from the University of Denver says: “Healthy communities have a lot in common, and if you live in a place where it is challenging to find adequate nutrition, recreation, education, and social support you will likely be less happy. The “happiest places” have much in common.”
More about Happy, Lifestyle, standard of living, USA
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