Travel

The Happiest State in America Is... Utah?!

Published On 09/15/2015 Published On 09/15/2015
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That's right: the home of LDS, sister wives, and that one Matthew Lillard movie is officially the happiest state in the Union, according to a new report released by the eminent scholars over at WalletHub.

How exactly do you measure a state's happiness? WalletHub took a three-pronged approach, examining each state's performance in the areas of Emotional and Physical Well-Being, Work Environment, and Community, Environment, & Recreational Activities. These areas were further broken down with weighted metrics, ranging from life expectancy and commute time to divorce rate and emotional health.

Like we said before, Utah's the happiest state in America, with the lowest divorce rate, highest volunteerism rate, and lowest number of work hours -- Utah's also got the fourth-highest suicide rate in the country, though, so apparently it's all relative.

Minnesota, meanwhile, is the second-happiest state thanks to its high overall safety (and the presence of Mall of America, presumably), while Hawaii's low depression rate and high hedonism score earned it the third-place trophy. It's probably the only time Minnesota's gonna outrank Hawaii on a list, except maybe "Every State Ranked by Snowfall."

As for the unhappiest states, West Virginia led that miserable pack followed by Alabama and Kentucky. Conspicuously absent from the unhappiest states, however, was North Dakota: good ol' ND actually defied the odds and landed in fifth place. Have we been wrong about the Roughrider State this whole time?

No, definitely not. Don't be ridiculous.

Check out the full top 10 below, and an interactive map showing where each state fell:

10. Wyoming
9. Massachusetts
8. Iowa
7. Washington
6. Nebraska
5. North Dakota
4. Colorado
3. Hawaii
2. Minnesota
1. Utah


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Gianni Jaccoma is a staff writer for Thrillist, and heโ€™s looking forward to the upcoming "snowfall state ranking" story. Follow his listicle tweets @gjaccoma, and send your news tips to news@thrillist.com

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