Many say that happiness comes from within. True, but it also comes from a combination of internal and external factors.
We can certainly influence our happiness by how we approach situations, who we spend time with, and what we do. It’s been harder to be happy in some years than others. The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the biggest stressors in the past couple years, now the economy, politics – they all affect our mental health, and happiness.
Every year Wallethub does a study ranking all 50 states by happiness. In order to determine the happiest states in America, they compared 50 states across three key dimensions: 1) Emotional & Physical Well-Being, 2) Work Environment and 3) Community & Environment. to determine which environmental factors are linked to a person’s overall well-being and satisfaction with life. Previous studies have found that good economic, emotional, physical and social health are key to a well-balanced and fulfilled life.
The top five happiest states in the US:
Hawaii, Maryland, Minnesota, Utah, New Jersey
The bottom five least happy states in the US:
West Virginia, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama
Wallethub went on to look at other statistics as well. For better or worse, here are some of their findings. Nevada is high on several, but not in the best ways.
Most work hours per state:
Alaska, Wyoming, North Dakota, Texas, Louisiana
Fewest work hours per state:
Utah, Rhode Island, Oregon, Vermont, Massachusetts
Lowest long term unemployment rate:
South Dakota, Nebraska, Utah, North Dakota, Montana
Highest long term unemployment rate:
Nevada, New York, California, New Jersey, Hawaii
Highest rate of volunteerism:
Utah, South Dakota, Nebraska, Colorado, Minnesota
Lowest rate of volunteerism:
New York, Nevada, Florida, Mississippi, Kentucky
Lowest divorce rate:
Utah, North Dakota, New Jersey, Hawaii, Nebraska
Highest divorce rate:
Nevada, New Mexico, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi