WalletHub’s latest ranking judges states based on well-being, work environment and “community and environment”
Follow your bliss to the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
Minnesota is the happiest state of the union, according to a new ranking from WalletHub. The runners-up were Utah, Hawaii, California, Nebraska and New Jersey. The unhappiest of 50 states was West Virginia — followed by Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi. New York sidled in at No. 22.
The personal finance site’s latest list took into account emotional and physical well-being, including effects of disease, illness and disability on personal happiness; the share of adult depression; effects of emotional well-being on personal happiness; adequate sleep; sports participation; life expectancy; suicide rate; and food insecurity rate.
It also captured work environment (hours, commute time, income, unemployment rates, job satisfaction, income growth, etc.) and community and environment (volunteer rate, average leisure time per day, safety, and separation and divorce rate).
The lowest share of adult depression was in sunny Hawaii, followed by New Jersey, California, Illinois and a tie between New York and Virginia. Oregon had the highest share, with Maine, Arkansas, West Virginia and Vermont trailing. Meanwhile, suicide rates were lowest in New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts and Connecticut, and highest in Wyoming, Alaska, Montana, New Mexico and Utah.
Folks in Utah worked the fewest hours, while Alaskans worked the most; North Dakota had both the lowest long-term unemployment rate and the highest income growth, while New Mexico took home the prize for highest long-term unemployment and Nevada had the lowest income growth.
The safest states to live were Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota and New Hampshire; least safe were Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Missouri — with a 50X difference between the two extremes.
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