There are many factors that impact your happiness and well-being, and where you live is just one of them.
A new study from WalletHub ranks every U.S. state in terms of how happy its residents are, but before you roll your eyes, here's why this study is different from other state-ranking files. Previous studies have "found that good economic, emotional, physical and social health are all key to a well-balanced and fulfilled life." So, that's what the folks at WalletHub did.
They compared every state in three areas: emotional & physical well-being, work environment and community & environment. In each area, they used 31 key metrics such as emotional health disparities, job satisfaction, safety, income growth, depression and sports participation. From their findings, WalletHub determined that happier people live longer and a greater sense of well-being. You can roll over each state in the map above to see the exact rankings and read more about what got them there below.
"Happiness is more than a feeling of joy or excitement. It relies on various aspects of a person’s life — from emotional well-being to job satisfaction," the study notes.
Several of the metrics are listed here with the rankings of the top five and the bottom five states. Any notable degree of difference between the top and bottom rankings are noted below the illustration for each characteristic.
Not too surprisingly, Hawaii came in at number one, and you can see how the rest of the states ranked below.
4. North Dakota
9. South Dakota
13. New Jersey
14. New York
20. North Carolina
24. New Hampshire
31. Rhode Island
36. South Carolina
41. New Mexico
50. West Virginia