America's 10 Happiest States

July 11, 2016
Jared Kaltwasser

A new survey looked at a variety of factors to determine which states have the best sense of wellbeing. Their answers might surprise you.

Happiness can be defined in a lot of different ways, and people can find happiness even in the roughest of situations. Still, when it comes to happiness as a sociological metric, a few key ingredients seem to be most important.

The consumer finance website WalletHub each year releases a report on the Happiest States in America. There are various ways to measure happiness, but WalletHub zeroed in on three main areas: Emotional and Physical Wellbeing, a look at self-reflected satisfaction, health, depression rates, and other factors; Work Environment, which focuses on incomes, commute times, unemployment, and similar stats; and Community, Environment, and Recreational Activities, which covers everything from weather to volunteerism rates.

What follows are the Top 10 states on the list. Included in each capsule is the state’s rank in each of the three main categories, as well as its ranking in last year’s study.

10. Wyoming

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 17

Work Environment Rank: 12

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 9

2014 Rank: 6

9. Massachusetts

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 11

Work Environment Rank: 16

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 18

2014 Rank: 16

8. Iowa

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 27

Work Environment Rank: 2

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 11

2014 Rank: 7

7. Washington

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 22

Work Environment Rank: 4

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 5

2014 Rank: 17

6. Nebraska

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 9

Work Environment Rank: 14

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 6

2014 Rank: 5

5. North Dakota

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 17

Work Environment Rank: 3

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 7

2014 Rank: 3

4. Colorado

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 3

Work Environment Rank: 18

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 8

2014 Rank: 4

3. Hawaii

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 2

Work Environment Rank: 24

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 2

2014 Rank: 8

2. Minnesota

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 1

Work Environment Rank: 7

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 3

2014 Rank: 2

1. Utah

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 4

Work Environment Rank: 1

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 1

2014 Rank: 1

To read WalletHub’s full list, click here.