We all know our physical environment and surroundings can play a major role in happiness. To help quantify this, a new study just ranked the happiest states in America.
In the report, conducted by personal finance site WalletHub, analysts examined three lifestyle categories that play a proven role in happiness. The researchers looked specifically at emotional and physical well-being, work environment, and finally, community and environment.
They then scored each state, for a maximum total of 100, and ranked them accordingly.
For emotional and physical well-being, WalletHub looked at percentages of adult depression, adequate-sleep rate, and life expectancy. Among other factors. For work environment, the researchers took a close look at hours worked per week, commute time, and income level. Lastly, the community category examined weather, volunteerism, leisure time, and divorce rate.
And the happiest state is…drumroll please…Minnesota.
Utah, Hawaii, California, and Nebraska rounded out the top five spots respectively. The unhappiest states were Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and in last place, West Virginia. New York was slightly above average at #22, while Florida was a bit below average at #31. To see where each state ranks, including a breakdown by category, you see the full findings here.
Of course, a number on a chart doesn’t determine happiness. Only you can do that. However, it’s worth considering these factors to get a better understanding of what brings you joy. For example, while California came in fourth, it had the fifth lowest income growth, as Refinery29 notes. On the other hand, it had the third lowest rate of depression.