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October 2017

Glum or glad? WalletHub analyzed us

Be glad you don't live in West Virginia. People there are unhappy, according to a study by WalletHub. Its "happiness" research determined Minnesota is the happiest state in America while residents of the Mountain State are the most miserable. Washington ranked 16th among the 50 states.

WalletHub used three key dimensions (emotional & physical well-being, work environment, and community & environment) and 28 key metrics, which were weighted, to rank the states.

In topping the chart, Minnesota had a total score of 70.81, and ranked 5th in both the "emotional and physical well-being" and "work environment" criteria, and 3rd in the "community & environment" category. (A score of 100 represented maximum happiness.)

By comparison, Washington had a total score of 60.35, and ranked 25th for "emotional and physical well-being." That state fared better for work environment (5th) and in the community & environment category (15th).  It was third overall for sports participation, behind Colorado and Oregon.  

First place rankings in each of the categories were:

  • Hawaii - Emotional & Physical Well-being
  • Utah - Work Environment
  • Utah - Community & Environment

In a statement announcing the results of the Happiness States survey, a spokesman for WalletHub said people determine their own happiness. "How content we are with life is not only and always a matter of perspective. And it's certainly not about beauty, power or wealth - at least, not beyond an annual income of $75,000. Where we choose to live can also influence our level of happiness," explained Richie Bernardo, senior writer at the website that functions as an "artificially intelligent financial advisor."

Rounding out the top five happiest states (following Minnesota) were Utah, Hawaii, California and Nebraska.

The unhappiest states were Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma and, at #50, West Virginia.

Washington finished ahead of #17 Idaho and #32 Oregon.

In addition to its own research, WalletHub used data from more than a dozen sources including the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and Gallup-Healthways.