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Happy…Because They Told Me So!

I read an Associated Press article this morning about a nationwide survey that took place in January that determined the happiest states in the country and the least happy states. Results were somewhat surprising in that Utah came in as the happiest state, with Hawaii coming in second. At the other end of the spectrum, were states like West Virginia (dead last) and Kentucky.

And despite all the grumblings you hear locally about people being unhappy with Massachusetts (too expensive, too liberal), our own little commonwealth ranked #8. Woo hoo – we made the top 10 (and there’s yet another reason for our residents to be happy).

Now, I’m not trying to get all political on your ass, but the survey did show that the least happy states tended to be the southern states (states that tend to be “red”, or Republican). I suppose a small part of that could be the timing of the survey (January…just as Obama was being sworn in to office), but the survey took into account numerous other factors (physical health, mental health, work quality, healthy behavior) and considering the southern states have the highest percentages of obesity and heart problems, as well as greater poverty, it does make sense that they’d score lower.

The results even allow you to view statistics by congressional district. It’s interesting that even within the state of Massachusetts, the coastal areas rated happier/healthier than the western half of the state. And of southern states, coastal ones (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Virginia) received the highest ratings. Perhaps there’s also a correlation with the ocean.

MMMM – nice sandy beaches, crashing waves, cooling breezes.

Anyway, here’s the link: (just click ‘generate report’) to see the map.

1 Comment(s)

  1. Comment by Mark on March 11, 2009 11:16 am

    Hey poodle,

    Not to squelch your theory too much, but that map suggests the unhappiest places in America are rust belt states, not Southern states. From New York State through Michigan, it looks like a bit ol’ swath of misery.

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