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America's 20 Happiest States In 2016
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America's 20 Happiest States In 2016

Picture of Alexia Wulff
Updated: 20 December 2016
Happiness isn’t just a feeling of joy or elation; rather, it’s a mental and emotional state of mind that relies on many aspects of a person’s life, from career satisfaction to physical and emotional well-being. While many argue that money can’t buy happiness, many researchers disagree, with studies showing that happiness rises as salary increases – that is, until it reaches $75,000 a year; after that, money has no effect on contentment with life. Another poll by Gallup-Healthways that measured well-being discovered that ‘people who make more money tend to report higher positive emotions.’ On the basis of these studies, WalletHub has delved into the topic, conducting a study using 28 key weighted metrics across three dimensions: emotional and physical well-being, work environment, and community and social connectivity.

Source: WalletHub

Calculating an individual score for each of the 50 states, including Washington D.C., WalletHub uncovers the mystery behind which cities are happiest and why, with rankings in categories like divorce rate, safety, number of work hours, suicide rate, and obesity rate. The study concluded that Utah is the happiest state, scoring high marks in all of the major categories; other states that ranked further down typically had high marks in some categories, but low in others – like Hawaii, which had the lowest depression rate, but also the lowest adequate-sleep rate, while North Dakota had the highest income growth, but lowest long-term employment rate. Want to know if your city made the list? Read on for the 20 happiest states in America.

1. Utah
2. Minnesota
3. North Dakota
4. Hawaii
5. Colorado
6. Idaho
7. Iowa
8. Nebraska
9. South Dakota
10. California
11. New Hampshire
12. Washington
13. Wyoming
14. Vermont
15. Wisconsin
16. Massachusetts
17. Connecticut
18. District of Columbia
19. Delaware
20. New Jersey