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September 22, 2022

Mapped: The happiest (and unhappiest) states in America

Daily Briefing

    WalletHub this week released its "Happiest States in America" list for 2022, ranking Hawaii as No. 1.

    Methodology

    For the list, WalletHub compared the 50 U.S. states using 30 relevant metrics across three key dimensions, including:

    • Emotional and physical well-being, including career well-being, physical health, and share of adults with depression (50%)
    • Work environment, including number of work hours, commute time, and current unemployment rate (25%)
    • Community and environment, including ideal weather, average leisure time spent per day, and volunteer rate (25%)

    Each metric was scored on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing maximum happiness. Each state's weighted average across all metrics was used to calculate its overall score, which then determined its final ranking.

    The happiest (and unhappiest) US states

    According to WalletHub, the 10 happiest states in America in 2022 were:

    1. Hawaii, which scored 66.31

    2. Maryland, which scored 62.6

    3. Minnesota, which scored 62.43

    4. Utah, which scored 62.41

    5. New Jersey, which scored 61.71

    6. Idaho, which scored 61.6

    7. California, which scored 59.97

    8. Illinois, which scored 58.59

    9. Nebraska, which scored 58.19

    10. Connecticut, which scored 58.15

    In comparison, the 10 unhappiest states in America in 2022 were:

    50. West Virginia, which score 33.83

    49. Louisiana, which scored 34.81

    48. Arkansas, which scored 38.23

    47. Kentucky, which scored 38.36

    46. Alabama, which scored 39.32

    45. Mississippi, which scored 39.58

    44. Oklahoma, which scored 40.69

    43. Tennessee, which scored 43.35

    42. New Mexico, which scored 43.64

    41. Missouri, which scored 45.38

    In addition, WalletHub highlighted the happiest and unhappiest states for various metrics, including:

    • Share of adult depression, with Hawaii ranked the lowest and West Virginia ranked the highest
    • Adequate sleep rate, with Colorado ranked the highest and West Virginia ranked the lowest
    • Sports participation rate, with Utah ranked the highest and Kentucky ranked the lowest
    • Suicide rate, with New Jersey ranked the lowest and Wyoming ranked the highest
    • Work hours, with Utah having the fewest and Alaska having the most
    • Long-term unemployment rate, with South Dakota having the lowest and Nevada having the highest
    • Income growth, with California having the highest and Alaska having the lowest
    • Volunteer rate, with Utah having the highest and New York having the lowest
    • Divorce rate, with Utah having the lowest and Nevada having the highest
    • Safety, with Vermont being the safest and Louisiana being the least safe

    (Gooch, Becker's Hospital Review, 9/20; McCann, WalletHub, 9/20)

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