Happiest States in the U.S. Ranked

Hawaii is the happiest state in the U.S. based on its population’s overall well-being, satisfaction with life and external environmental factors.

According to a report done by WalletHub, people in the island state seemed to be able to stay positive despite the events going on around such as the coronavirus pandemic. To determine how happy a state was, the company examined the 50 states across 32 key metrics. These included: the depression rate, positive COVID-19 testing rate, income growth and the unemployment rate.

Hawaii rates as the overall happiest state in the country, with Utah and Minnesota following second and third respectively.

“In order to determine the happiest states in America, WalletHub compared the 50 states across three key dimensions: emotional and physical well-being, work environment and community and environment,” the company says on its website.

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“We evaluated those dimensions using 32 relevant metrics,” it continues. “Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing maximum happiness.” The company then determined each state’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order its sample.

The unhappiest states in the country include West Virginia, ranked last, Arkansas and Oklahoma. All three states ranked low on the three categories, with specific findings including the highest share of depression (West Virginia) and least safe (Arkansas).

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However, even the happiest states have their low points—Hawaii has the lowest adequate sleep rate out of all 50 states. Perhaps not so surprising, Nevada was found to have the highest divorce rating, followed by Florida.

New Jersey, New York, California and Nevada had a lowest share of adult depression—New York and New Jersey also have some of the lowest suicide rates.

WalletHub Happiest States in the U.S.
A graphic showing the best and worst ranked states for depression, sleep rate, safety, divorce and more.
WalletHub

The full ranking list is included below:

Overall Rank
(1 = Happiest)

State

Total Score

“Emotional & Physical Well-Being” Rank

“Work Environment” Rank

“Community & Environment” Rank

1

Hawaii

69.58

2

16

3

2

Utah

69.42

14

1

1

3

Minnesota

65.87

4

4

10

4

New Jersey

64.10

1

30

22

5

Maryland

61.78

3

33

9

6

California

61.14

7

18

13

7

North Dakota

60.02

18

3

7

8

Iowa

59.65

15

6

11

9

Idaho

59.58

34

2

2

10

Connecticut

59.23

5

38

17

11

Nebraska

59.06

9

8

36

12

South Dakota

58.53

22

10

4

13

Massachusetts

57.30

8

12

43

14

Virginia

56.27

11

21

33

15

Washington

55.60

27

7

18

16

Vermont

55.59

20

24

6

17

New York

54.86

6

44

45

18

Wisconsin

54.32

23

17

19

19

Nevada

53.67

29

25

5

20

Arizona

53.47

19

20

32

21

New Hampshire

53.36

24

11

38

22

Georgia

52.73

21

36

24

23

Colorado

52.57

17

9

47

24

Delaware

52.25

16

43

35

25

Texas

51.04

10

31

50

26

Rhode Island

50.96

25

28

34

27

Florida

50.58

12

39

49

28

Pennsylvania

50.16

26

40

30

29

Illinois

50.14

13

45

46

30

Maine

50.12

35

14

20

31

Wyoming

49.26

30

23

39

32

North Carolina

49.19

28

27

42

33

Kansas

49.16

31

19

40

34

South Carolina

48.78

36

26

21

35

Ohio

48.37

32

41

25

36

Indiana

47.96

33

29

31

37

Michigan

47.27

38

35

23

38

Montana

47.25

40

5

41

39

New Mexico

47.03

39

46

8

40

Missouri

45.79

41

22

12

41

Oregon

43.67

43

13

29

42

Alaska

40.85

37

47

48

43

Alabama

40.28

46

34

16

44

Mississippi

39.52

44

48

14

45

Tennessee

39.21

45

15

44

46

Kentucky

38.29

47

32

26

47

Louisiana

38.15

42

50

28

48

Oklahoma

37.66

48

37

27

49

Arkansas

36.83

49

42

15

50

West Virginia

30.58

50

49

37

According to WalletHub, the data used to create this ranking was collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United Health Foundation, Bureau of Labor Statisics and more. The COVID Tracking Project also contributed data.

iStock Mental Health Covid
Stock image: New York and New Jersey were ranked low for adult depression rates and suicide.
iStock

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