Best states for happiness? WalletHub study ranks Hawaii first, West Virginia last – USA TODAY

Sarah Berger, CNBC Published 7:00 a.m. ET Sept. 16, 2018


Some say being happy is a state of mind, but the happiest states in the U.S. are in the Midwest and mountain regions. Buzz60’s Sean Dowling has more. Buzz60

Pursuing happiness? Maybe you should head to Hawaii.

A new study from personal finance website WalletHub ranks all 50 states in terms of happiness.

For its survey, WalletHub compared states across three key dimensions, including emotional and physical well-being, work environment and community and environment, reasoning that, “previous studies have found that good economic, emotional, physical and social health are all key to a well-balanced and fulfilled life.” WalletHub then used 31 metrics to evaluate each dimension (including things everything from adequate-sleep rate to number of work hours to income level and ideal weather).

The happiest state of all, according to the study, is Hawaii. It ranks first in the emotional and physical well-being dimension, with low shares of adult depression.

The second happiest state goes to Utah, which boasts a No. 1 ranking in the work environment dimension and also has low divorce rates.

Minnesota rounds out the top three happiest states, with low divorce rates and a high ranking for safety.

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In general, states in the south seem to be unhappier. The least happy state, according to WalletHub, is West Virginia thanks to factors including low adequate sleep rates and high levels of adult depression. Arkansas ranks 49th on WalletHub’s study of the happiest states, with low sports participation rates and high levels of adult depression. Louisiana, in 48th place, has more work hours and high divorce rates.

Happiest states

These are the top 10 happiest states in 2018 and their corresponding scores (out of 100), according to WalletHub:

1. Hawaii (68.27)

2. Utah (67.84)

3. Minnesota (67.26)

4. North Dakota (65.62)

5. California (63.14)

6. Idaho (63.09)

7. Maryland (61.78)

8. Iowa (61.07)

9. South Dakota (60.80)

10. Nebraska (59.11)

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Unhappiest states

These are the least happy states in 2018 and their corresponding scores, according to WalletHub:

1. West Virginia (33.42)

2. Arkansas (36.61)

3. Louisiana (37.15)

4. Alaska (38.21)

5. Oklahoma (38.89)

6. Alabama (39.35)

7. Kentucky (39.42)

8. Mississippi (41.63)

9. Missouri (42.76)

10. New Mexico (43.35)


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