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2017’s happiest states in America

A WalletHub analysis

With all the turmoil, chaos, political conflict, disasters, scandals, and other negativity we see daily, most of us are looking for more positivity with smiles and sunshine in our lives. While we cannot control what happens in the world in the larger scope, there are some things we can do to add more happiness into our lives.

Where we live can play a part in our happiness level, and the personal finance website, WalletHub has analyzed the 50 states to determine where in the country Americans are the happiest. Most of us won't be able to pick up and move if we don't already live in a "happier" state, but if we take these findings and look for the parts of our lives where we see even a glimpse of such positivity, we can shift our mood. And for the fortunate people, perhaps WalletHub's report will give you the nudge to move to a new place, where happiness may just await you!

Using 28 key indicators that evaluate satisfaction with life, WalletHub's team of experts compared the 50 states and ranked them accordingly. Factors including depression and suicide rate, sleep rate, sports participation, average work hours, unemployment rate, income growth, volunteering rate, safety, divorce rate, and more, WalletHub's team evaluated these indicators using their unique methodology and ranked the 50 states from best to worst in terms of general happiness.

The top 5 happiest states (starting with the overall happiest) are:

  • Minnesota
  • Utah
  • Hawaii
  • California
  • Nebraska

And the bottom 5 (starting with the least happy):

  • West Virginia
  • Oklahoma
  • Louisiana
  • Alabama
  • Arkansas

Do you live in one of the happiest or least happy states? If so, are you in agreement with the findings of this study?

Some interesting tidbits…

New York has the fewest suicides - 8 per 100,000 residents. New York ranked #22 on the WalletHub scale.

North Dakota, #14, has the lowest long-term unemployment rate. If you're unhappy with your career or are seeking work, maybe a move to this state would be a step in the right direction.

Utah boasts the most volunteers. Helping others can bring joy to your life too. Utah is the happiest state in the union. Perhaps a visit or move will inspire you and create more joy in your life too.

For the full ranking and more details on the method behind the analysis, see WalletHub's full report.

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