Many say that the meaning of life is happiness, which can be derived from different areas of our existence. Location is one such factor, since where you live can greatly affect how you feel. This led personal finance website Wallethub to look into which U.S. state is truly the happiest in 2021, based on 31 metrics including income growth, depression rate, unemployment rate, and positive COVID-19 testing rate.
Drum roll, please. The happiest state in America is ... Utah! On Wallethub's 100-point scale, the state received a 72.94. This is then narrowed down into the categories of emotional and physical well-being, work environment, and community and environment. The website notes that Utah also has the highest volunteer rate, and the lowest separation and divorce rate.
In second place, we have Minnesota with a score of 67.52, and in third place, Hawaii has a score of 66.16. Next up is California (63.82), North Dakota (63.25), South Dakota (63.08), Idaho (62.51), Maryland (62.21), New Jersey (61.93), and Massachusetts (61.80).
Wallethub also discovered that New Jersey has the lowest share of adult depression. As for New York and New Jersey, both have the fewest suicides per 100,000 residents. On the other hand, the state with the highest share of adult depression is West Virginia and the state with the most suicides is Wyoming.
When it comes to unemployment, North Dakota is the state with the lowest long-term rate, while New Mexico represents the highest. As for the state with the highest income growth, that would be Oregon, while Alaska has the lowest.
Two other interesting findings involve adequate sleep rate and work hours. Minnesota is the state with the highest adequate sleep rate and, interestingly, Hawaii is the lowest. In terms of work hours, Utah has the fewest (which may explain why it's the happiest!) and Alaska has the most.
To see where your state ranks, click here.
Anna is a Los Angeles-based writer and editor who covers lifestyle and design content for Hunker. She's written for Apartment Therapy, the L.A. Times, Forge, and more. She previously worked as the lifestyle editor at HelloGiggles and deputy editor at So Yummy. Her email: firstname.lastname@example.org