How do you define happiness? Is it having enough money? (And what is “enough money?”) Is it holding your baby or grandchild for the first time? Is it contributing meaningful work? Is it all of these things?

In an attempt to answer this question, Wallethub recently set out to discover which states are home to the happiest Americans, looking at three primary metrics: emotional and physical well-being; work environment; and community, environment and recreational activities. Their analysis considers an additional 25 relevant metrics, each given a weight to reflect its importance. These include:

  • Best Hedonometer score (which measures personal expression of hedonism on social media)

  • Lowest depression rate

  • Highest adequate-sleep rate

  • Lowest obesity rate

  • Highest sports participation rate

  • Lowest suicide rate

  • Lowest number of work hours

  • Lowest long-term unemployment rate

  • Highest income growth

  • Highest volunteerism rate

  • Lowest divorce rate

  • Safest states to live in

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As part of their research, WalletHub used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, the Joint Economic Committee, the Corporation for National and Community Service, Gallup-Healthways, TripAdvisor, Hedonometer.org and their own research team.

Here, we bring you the 10 happiest states, as identified by Wallethub. Our listings give each state’s rank for the three primary metrics, and also acknowledges any other metrics where they placed in the top five states. 

Read last year’s survey. 

10. Wyoming

Emotional & physical well-being rank: 17

Work environment rank: 12

Community, environment & recreational activities rank: 9

Highest adequate-sleep rate rank: 3

Highest income growth: 3

9. Massachusetts

Emotional & physical well-being rank: 11

Work environment rank: 16

Community, environment & recreational activities rank: 13

Lowest obesity rate rank: 4

Lowest suicide rate rank: 4

Lowest number of work hours rank: tied for No. 4 with Michigan

Safest states to live in rank: 1

8. Iowa

Emotional & physical well-being rank: 27

Work environment rank: 2

Community, environment & recreational activities rank: 11

Lowest long-term unemployment rate rank: 3

7. Washington

Emotional & physical well-being rank: 22

Work environment rank: 4

Community, environment & recreational activities rank: 5

Highest sport participation rate rank: tied for No. 3 with Vermont

6. Nebraska

Emotional & physical well-being rank: 9

Work environment rank: 14

Community, environment & recreational activities rank: 6

Lowest long-term unemployment rate rank: 4

5. North Dakota

Emotional & physical well-being rank: 17

Work environment rank: 3

Community, environment & recreational activities rank: 7

Highest adequate-sleep rate rank: 5

Lowest long-term unemployment rate rank: 1

Highest income growth: 2

Lowest divorce rate: 2

4. Colorado

Emotional & physical well-being rank: 3

Work environment rank: 18

Community, environment & recreational activities rank: 8

Highest adequate-sleep rate rank: 2

Lowest obesity rate rank: 3

Highest sport participation rate rank: 1

3. Hawaii

Emotional & physical well-being rank: 2

Work environment rank: 24

Community, environment & recreational activities rank: 2

Best Hedonometer score rank: 1

Lowest depression rate rank: 1

Lowest obesity rate rank: 2

Lowest divorce rate rank: 4

Safest states to live in rank: 5

2. Minnesota

Emotional & physical well-being rank: 1

Work environment rank: 7

Community, environment & recreational activities rank: 3

Best Hedonometer score rank: tied for No. 3 with Maine

Highest volunteerism rate rank: tied for No. 4 with Idaho

Lowest divorce rate rank: 3

Safest state to live in: 3

1. Utah

Emotional & physical well-being rank: 4

Work environment rank: 1

Community, environment & recreational activities rank: 1

Lowest obesity rate rank: 5

Lowest number of work hours rank: 1

Highest volunteerism rate rank: 1

Lowest divorce rate: 1

 

To read the original article and findings, go to WalletHub’s article here.

 

See also:

The top 25 business jobs for 2016

20 of the wealthiest places in America

 

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