If you live in Utah, the answer is yes, you live in The Happiest State. WalletHub released its annual “Happiest States in America” report. The findings are interesting.
The website measured all 50 states using 30 metrics. These included depression rates, productivity, income growth, unemployment rates, and even a state’s sleep rate.
“Even though people across the U.S. are facing difficult times, the state in which you live may have an impact on how happy you are,” WalletHub wrote in its report. “WalletHub drew upon the findings of ‘happiness’ research 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 all key to a well-balanced and fulfilled life.”
Utah comes out on top. West Virginia is at the end of the list.
Utah, according to the data, has the highest volunteer rate, which seems to be a factor in the happiness rate. Utah’s volunteer rate is 40.7 percent, 2.6 times higher than in Florida, for example. Florida has the lowest volunteer rate. There is a suggestion that helping others makes you happier in the process. Utah also has the lowest separation and divorce rate in America.
Does some of the credit for being the happiest state go to the fact that 68.55% of the state’s total population is Mormon? It would be a logical assumption.
Hawaii is the second happiest state. Maryland is third, with Minnesota and New Jersey coming in at number four and five. All of the top five states scored high marks in the “emotional and well-being” category and in “community and environment.”
The least happy state ( the saddest?) is West Virginia. The state came in last in “emotional and well-being” and in “work environment.” West Virginia came in at 33rd place for “community and environment.”
Fear not, even if you live in a less happy state, you make your own happiness say the experts at WalletHub.
“The more mindful we are, the less stress we experience and the happier we will be,” Ellen Langer, a professor in the department of psychology at the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, said. “If you are mindful and feel supported and cared for by those around you, you can be happy wherever you are.”
Happiness comes from both internal and external factors. Approaching situations positively, choosing to spend time with people we love, and doing activities we enjoy all contribute to happiness.
The year may also contribute to your level of happiness. This year, for instance, isn’t the greatest one for most people. Thanks, Joe Biden.
It’s harder to be happy in some years than in others, though. For example, in 2023, high inflation remains a threat to Americans’ mental health. In fact, more than 75% of Americans who have experienced price increases where they live report feeling “very” or “moderately” stressed. In addition, only 50% of Americans feel “very satisfied” with the way their personal life is going.
It’s an interesting survey. Most of its findings are common sensical. Sleeping well, economic health, volunteering in your community, employment, and emotional good health coming from being with family and friends make for happiness.
Now, for a palate cleanser. It’s been a long week. I think we can all use a little Frasier today. The new show debuts on October 12, with the first two episodes dropping that day. New episodes will drop on Thursdays on Paramount+.
Here’s the trailer.
I’m looking forward to some new laughs from Frasier.