This Map Shows the Happiest (and Unhappiest) States in the U.S.
Before I hand you WalletHub’s new ranking of the happiest states in America, I’ll say this: Statisticians in their work can account for many factors, but there's no equation to represent the fleeting nature of joy. A welcomed swell of euphoria --despite a region’s scenic drives, temperatures, and kombucha shops --will shrink inevitably into that middle place of every day, and you’ll be left in emotional limbo to reflect on whether you are content with your true home… the self. Now, go ahead and lean into your escapist fantasies, because that more fun!
It probably comes as no surprise that the United States isn't the happiest country in the world (Finland’s had that title on lock for two years). But our massive country is No. 19 this year, according to the World Happiness Report, meaning that despite all the unhappiness festering in our country, we still came out sorta kinda on top-ish, and must be doing soooomething right.
To determine general happiness and unhappiness at a state level, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 31 key indicators of happiness. The data set range from emotional health to income level to sports participation rate. So, without further ado, let’s check in on our country:
The top 10 happiest states in the US:
5. New Jersey
The 10 least happy states in the US:
1. West Virginia
If you take nothing else from this article, just know that people are doing fine in Hawaii. The state has the lowest share of adult depression, coming in at 11.88%. For reference, Maine has a 26.89% share, but they have good beer, so at least their... hoppyiness ranking… is higher.
North Dakota is noteworthy, with a 13.10% long-term unemployment rate, the lowest of the country. They beat out New Mexico, the highest, by 31.8 percentage points.
Last -- but certainly not least -- is Utah. They are freakin’ cute over there, with the highest volunteer rate (51%!) and the lowest divorce rate (26.19%).
So, basically, move to Hawaii to chill, Utah to cuff, and North Dakota to work. And get happier in general, US, because 19 is a weird happiness ranking for a country so obsessed with calculating joy.