Will the Midwest be the next place you call home?

September 12, 2017

Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 Lakes—and home to over five million people living in the happiest state in the country. According to a recent study by WalletHub, the Gopher State takes the number one slot this year.

Utah, Hawaii, California and Nebraska followed Minnesota to round out the top five happiest states. On the opposite end, West Virginia was labeled the least happy state. Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, and Arkansas were the other four states in the bottom five. All 50 states were analyzed across three key dimensions: emotional and physical well-being, work environment, and community environment.

To determine emotional and physical well-being, researchers examined statistics around adult depression, adequate-sleep rate, and share of adults feeling active and productive. Work environment factored in the share of adults worried about money, the current unemployment rate, and job satisfaction. And the community environment part of WalletHub’s analysis looked at weather conditions, leisure time, and separation and divorce rate, among others.

Hawaii scored the highest for lowest share of adult depression, and California came in third. Meanwhile, West Virginia and Arkansas were among the states with the highest share of adult depression.

Hitting snooze might also be a major factor in overall happiness. Those states with the highest adequate-sleep rate were Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, and Nebraska. Interestingly, Hawaii—one of the overall “happiest” states—had the lowest adequate-sleep rate.

And it might be time for those living in Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Louisiana to get back in the gym. Not only were these states featured in the most unhappy overall, but these three states also had some of the lowest sports participation rates.

Other notable individual scores came from Utah. The state had the highest volunteer rate, fewest work hours, and lowest divorce rate. That being said, they also ranked in the top five for highest suicide rate. New York, however, had the lowest suicide rate in the country.

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