There’s not much to be happy about in 2020, so measuring happiness might be considered a futile exercise. Talking about the happiest state in the US right now is like talking about the least crusty noodle at the bottom of an old cooking pot, but nonetheless, WalletHub has conducted a study of the 50 states aimed at measuring their happiness. They based their findings on three categories: emotional and physical wellbeing, work environment, and community environment. The data produced an answer that many of us may find obvious: Hawaii is the happiest state in the country.
WalletHub’s Adam McCann wrote in a statement, “In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life as we know it, causing sickness, limiting social interactions, and leading to widespread job losses. During these trials, which have had a strong negative impact on Americans’ mental health, WalletHub searched for the states where people can stay positive despite the circumstances.”
Hawaii ranked number one and was followed by Utah, Minnesota, New Jersey, Maryland, California, North Dakota, Iowa, Idaho, and Connecticut. If you’re trying to find a trend there, don’t squint too closely.
Hawaii may have come in first overall, but it ranked second in emotional and physical wellbeing (after New Jersey) and third in community and environment (after Utah and Idaho). Utah and Idaho also came in first for the work and environment category. Minnesota ranked first in the subcategory of “highest adequate sleep” and New Jersey had the lowest average amount of adult depression. Maine, meanwhile, ranked as the safest state in the country.
Dr. Chieh-Chen Bowen of Cleveland State University’s psychology department said, “Happiness is a feeling of joy, contentment, and overall positive emotions. Happiness is a universal goal. We all want to be happy and want such feelings to last.”