States with the most smiles
Perhaps one of the most important measures of a state is how happy people are to be there. While that seems quite simple on the surface, there are quite a lot of things that affect people's happiness; and it's even harder to figure out how much of that is attributable to the state they live in. Wallethub, a consumer finance site, recently compiled important figures to create a broad ranking of the states. They compared things like divorce rates, financial stability, and participation in sports, which studies have all linked to human happiness. You can read more about their methodology and their sources here. To make things a bit more straightforward for you, we've presented a simplified version of their findings.
Perhaps one of the biggest differences between this list and what one might expect from the rankings of the most livable states is that the New England states are nowhere to be found. Although they consistently have high marks with education and low crime rates, high rates of depression and generally low community scores have them in the middle of the pack. Utah, by contrast, has very high community scores, launching it near the very top. The states that generally have the highest happiness metrics are the West North Central states, which share in common high marks for their community and environment.
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