Can you measure happiness? What if you could pinpoint exactly where the happiest people live and learn from their habits and lifestyles? A team of experts from WalletHub has done just that, looking to previous studies that research happiness and longevity, experiences, sports participation, and unhappy cities. Along with their own data and methodology, they found that the happiest state in America is none other than Minnesota.
The researchers considered key categories like emotional and physical well-being, work life, community, and environment. They ranked each state based on a weighted point system, looking at a range of factors from depression and sleeping habits to participation in sports, hours spent at work, and ideal weather conditions. The study ranks all 50 states, with Minnesota, Utah, Hawaii, California, and Nebraska making the top five happiest states in America and West Virginia, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, and Arkansas at the bottom of the list as the least happy states.
"There are a lot of external influences on happiness. … Being surrounded by scenic beauty is very health- and happiness-promoting. Likewise, being part of a society that promotes social justice, equality, and interpersonal harmony can greatly increase happiness," says Bradley H. Smith, a professor of psychology at the University of Houston and the director of the school psychology doctoral program.
Curious to see where your state ranks on the happiness scale? Head to WalletHub for the full list of the happiest states in America.