These Are the Happiest States in America

These are the happiest states in the country // Photo Credit: noblige/iStock/Getty Images Plus

As the saying goes, “money can’t buy happiness.” A new study from the personal finance website WalletHub confirms that sentiment is true, discovering that happiness only increases with wealth up to an annual income of $75,000. So while money does have a small impact on overall happiness, the website set out to find out just what makes people truly happy. One factor the site uncovered? Location.

According to WalletHub, happiness comes from a combination of internal and external factors. It can be influenced somewhat by approaching situations positively or by choosing to spend time with people we love and doing activities we enjoy. In the study, WalletHub drew upon the findings of “happiness” research to determine which environmental factors are linked to a person’s overall wellbeing. To determine where Americans exhibit the best combination of these factors, WalletHub examined the 50 states across 31 key metrics, ranging from depression rate to sports participation rate to income growth. Here's what the study found:
 

          Happiest States in America

1

Hawaii

 

11

Wisconsin

2

Utah

 

12

Connecticut

3

Minnesota

 

13

New Jersey

4

North Dakota

 

14

New York

5

California

 

15

Virginia

6

Idaho

 

16

Massachusetts

7

Maryland

 

17

Washington

8

Iowa

 

18

Colorado

9

South Dakota

 

19

Georgia

10

Nebraska

 

20

North Carolina


Key Findings 

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  • New York has the lowest share of adult depression, 11.70 percent, which is 2.2 times lower than in Oregon, which has the highest at 25.54 percent. 
  • New Jersey has the fewest suicides (per 100,000 residents), seven, which is 3.7 times fewer than in Montana, which has the most at 26.
  • North Dakota has the lowest long-term unemployment rate, 13.1 percent, which is 3.4 times lower than in New Mexico, which has the highest at 44.9 percent.
  • Utah has the highest volunteer rate, 39.29 percent, which is 2.1 times higher than in Florida, where the rate is the lowest at 18.31 percent.
  • Utah has the lowest separation and divorce rate, 16.18 percent, which is 1.6 times lower than in Nevada, which has the highest at 26.57 percent.
     

Other questions asked during the study include:

  1. What are the key ingredients to a happy life?
  2. How important is money to people’s happiness?
  3. What are the secrets to career contentment?
  4. How much does where you live influence your happiness?
     

Are you surprised by WalletHub's findings? Check out the video below for more info, and click here for the full study.
 


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