Do you think your state promotes happiness and well-being? If you live in Utah, Minnesota, or Hawaii, you may be more inclined to answer “yes,” as those three states are said to be the happiest in the nation. A report from WalletHub analyzed 28 factors that affect a person’s happiness, including self-reported items like satisfaction with life and physical and emotional health, along with data like depression rates, income, unemployment, volunteerism, and the number of hours spent at work.
The report ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia on a 100-point scale. One view of the report shows we could all use a little more happiness. Even top-rated Minnesota only scored 70.81, suggesting that there’s always room for improvement. While you may not think your state affects your happiness, experts agree that location can play a role. Factors like a sunny locale may improve happiness, but other elements are at play, too.
“It [location] can matter a lot, but it’s not always in the ways we might imagine. Sometimes, living near a valued community is more important than white sandy beaches,” Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center and professor in the Media Psychology Program at Fielding Graduate University, told WalletHub. “In a perfect world, you would seek balance between valued social connections, ability to use one’s strengths, being part of a larger purpose and having psychologically supporting and aesthetic surroundings.”
While we likely need to take steps to improve our own happiness, you may be up against additional challenges in the 10 most unhappy states — especially the one ranked worst.
Happiness rating: 49.67
We start of our list of unhappiest states in Ohio. To arrive at the overall ranking, states received scores in three main categories: Emotional & Physical Well-Being, Work Environment, and Community & Environment. The Buckeye State ranked right in the middle (No. 25) for Community and Work Environment — not so bad. But its other categories fell toward the bottom of the list, landing it just barely on our list of the unhappiest states to live in.