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Happiness isn't something so easily defined – it can mean different things for different people. But there are a series of factors that are associated with happiness – think good economic, emotional, physical and social health – that WalletHub has used to help shape its "2017's Happiest States in America" report.
The company rated happiness in all 50 states according to three categories – emotional and physical well-being, work environment and community and environment. These categories were judged based on 28 ratings metrics. For example, emotional and physical well-being included factors like physical health index, share of adult depression and adequate-sleep rate.
Other metrics studied were highest income growth, highest volunteer rate and amount of work hours. States with the fewest work hours were Utah, Oregon, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Michigan and Vermont. States with the most work hours were Louisiana, Texas, North Dakota, Wyoming and Alaska.
Researchers also took suicide rate into account. New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Connecticut – evidently, much of the Northeast – had the lowest suicide rates, while Utah, New Mexico, Montana, Alaska and Wyoming had the highest.
6. New Jersey
7. South Dakota
11. New Hampshire