America’s 30 Happiest States

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Happiness is a personal feeling that depends on several factors, both internal and external. And depending on where people live, their happiness and mental well-being may vary significantly.

To determine the happiest U.S. states, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the 2019 Gallup Well-Being Index, which is based on responses from more than 115,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older surveyed in 2019. The index is intended to capture how people feel about their lives and what they experience on a daily basis. The index consists of five categories: social relationships, financial security, relationship to community, physical health, and career prospects.

The overall well-being in the United States has declined since 2016. The national Well-Being Index score decreased by almost 1 point since then, falling to 61.2 in 2018. The 30 states on this list all have a well-being score higher than 61.2. (Still, more Americans appear happy than sad — these are the 18 most miserable states)

Physical health, together with healthy behaviors, is part of the physical element of well-being. It was an important factor contributing to happiness. People who reported being happy were also physically healthy.

To help measure happiness, Gallup asked Americans if they love the city they live in. Nationwide, 52.7% of adults love their city. In all but two of the states with the highest happiness scores, at least 53.3% of residents like where they live.

Though, according to some, money doesn’t buy happiness, financial well-being plays a significant role in happiness. Asked about their financial situation, 40.9% of Americans answered that they worried about money in the last week. Residents in just three of the 15 happiest states report higher levels of worrying about money.

Gallup also asked Americans if they liked what they do every day. About 56.4% of people across the country said that they do. Only five of the 30 happiest states have a higher share of the population who like what they do everyday than the national average — these are the 25 best jobs in America.