Ah, that elusive thing called happiness. Where can we get it?
NiceRx, a pharmacy service, put together a ranking of states by happiness. To measure a state’s happiness, the survey crunched data for life expectancy, homicide rates, average household income, safety, and rates of mental illness and poverty.
Least Happy States
Here’s the bottom five for happiness, starting with the least happy:
1. Arkansas: 0.65 happiness score, $69,357 household income (48th on the list).
2. Louisiana: 0.99 happiness score, $73,759 household income (44th on the list).
3. Mississippi: 1.43 happiness score, $65,156 household income (50th on the list).
4. West Virginia: 1.66 happiness score, $65,332 household income (49th on the list).
5. Tennessee: 1.67 happiness score, $76,937 household income (40th on the list).
Money apparently doesn’t buy happiness, at least not completely. New Jersey ranks first among the states when it comes to mean household income–$117,868. But it places only fourth on the happiness score—8.23 out of 10.
Hawaii is ranked No. 1 for happiness, with a score of 9.08. But it’s only sixth for household income — $107,348.
“The Aloha State is often seen as a dream destination for seekers of sun, fun, and happiness, and these scores seem to support that notion,” the survey said.
“Hawaii has the lowest rate of serious mental illness and the longest life expectancy in the country at 80.7 years.”
Rounding out the top five states for happiness are:
2. Connecticut: 8.50 happiness score, $115,337 household income (third on the list).
3. Massachusetts: 8.34 happiness score, $115,964 household income (second on the list).
4. New Jersey: see above.
5. Minnesota: 8.20 happiness score, $96,814 household income (13th on the list).
The report offers a bit of advice for driving away unhappiness.
“It’s not uncommon to struggle to feel happy from time to time, with the various challenges that life throws at us weighing us down,” it says.
“But there are many ways that we can boost our happiness. These range from getting more sleep, to spending more time outdoors or consuming a healthier, more balanced diet.”
Small City Rankings
Meanwhile, for those of you looking to live outside big cities, personal-finance website WalletHub published a list ranking small cities.
It compared more than 1,300 cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 based on 43 key indicators of livability.
Those indicators include median income, cost of living, school-system quality, average commute time, restaurants per capita and crime rates.
The top finishers are:
1. Lancaster, Pa.
2. Carmel, Ind.
3. Fair Lawn, N.J.
4. Lexington, Mass.
5. Brentwood, Tenn.
The bottom five, starting with the worst, are:
1. Bessemer, Ala.
2. Pine Bluff, Ark.
3. Fort Hood, Texas
4. West Memphis, Ark.
5. Alexandria, La.
- Where to Enter a State of Happiness
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