Happiest U.S. States Pinned Down | LiveScience
A new study found that a person’s self-reported happiness matches up with objective measures of state-level happiness.
The results are based on an examination of two data sets, one that included personal reports of happiness for 1.3 million Americans and the other that included objective measures, such as how crowded that state is, air quality, home prices and other factors known to impact quality of life.
Click here to learn more about the survey and what it means.
Here are the 50 U.S. states (and the District of Columbia) in order of their well-being:
8. South Carolina
12. North Carolina
15. South Dakota
24. New Mexico
25. North Dakota
27. New Hampshire
34. West Virginia
37. District of Columbia
42. Rhode Island
49. New Jersey
51. New York
Thanks to the Burbed readers who pointed this out.
There was lots of great discussion in this thread on Friday about it.
Some of the interesting comments I saw:
# BuyersAreIdiots Says:
December 18th, 2009 at 2:57 pm
Taxes seem to also be a mitigating factor in the ‘unhappy’ states. Most of the ones on the bottom tier are those with the highest personal income and sales tax rates.
I think the unhappy states in the list also have (currently) high unemployment statistics.
December 18th, 2009 at 2:20 pm
Hmmm… Nomadic’s post brings up another possible part of the equation: unhappiness related to debt or loss of money/value. A lot of people In Cali are either in default or own a house that’s worth a lot less then what they paid. Naturally that would make them less pleased. Then again, Nevada and Arizona are “happy” states and they had record foreclosures.
# Top Dog Says:
December 18th, 2009 at 3:40 pm
Happiness has something to do with ignorance. If you don’t know any better, don’t aspire to much, and don’t get bothered by low achievement, then it’s quite easy to be happy.
# Pralay Says:
December 18th, 2009 at 5:39 pm e
Regarding the happiness topic.
From my experience those who constantly say “I am happy” are the most unhappy people. They normally say that they are happy but if you dig deeper, you will find out that they normally say it to console themselves. You don’t have go that far. Just look at RealEstater who is too happy with his prestigious zipcode (and don’t forget “I am right all along” phrase too).
There were other good comments (check them out) – but enough copying and pasting!
What are my thoughts? I’m glad you asked!
1. I think that more importantly than anything else, we beat New York and its failing Wall St, we beat Connecticut with its failing hedge funds, and we beat New Jersey with its odd mix of Jersey Shore and nation’s top schools. WOOT! Bay Area trumps Tri-State Area yet again! And this after last week’s smashing victory. It’s like a cherry on top of a sundae.
2. Sure there are a few states ahead of us, but at the same time we don’t really understand the methodology of the survey. Did they ask the right questions? It’s hard to tell. What would be an example of a right question? “On a scale of 1-5, how happy are you despite the fact that you are not in California right now?” Or… “On a scale of 1-5, how happy are you with your non-California home?” See what I mean?
3. We’ve got Happy Cows. Period.
I know stats like this may be dispiriting, but let’s face it, we can’t be #1 in everything like we are in green tech, prius ownership, and intelligent people. But as long as we keep beating the enemy, we’re ok.
So… a question to you: are you happy?