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Hapuna Beach State Recreation Area, Hawaii
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Revealed: The happiest states in the US

Want to be happy? Move to Hawaii (duh).

Erika Mailman
Written by
Erika Mailman

Let’s be honest: Ranking the happiest states in the US can feel a little silly. But happiness continues to be the most sought-after characteristic in life. Will you plan your next move based on this information? Toss away familial and friendly relations to move to the top ranked state? Maybe. Or maybe you just want to check where your state lies in the list and feel either miffed or... happy. 

For this study, each state underwent rigid scrutiny regarding residents’ emotional and physical well-being, their work environment and their community and environment. These three categories were further subdivided into 30 different metrics, which range from people’s reporting of adverse childhood experiences to the average leisure time spent per day. Scores were added up, heads were scratched, and the results are in.

The happiest state? Hawaii. According to the data, Hawaiians are top in the nation for emotional and physical well-being (but seventh for community and environment, which included metrics like volunteer rate, ideal weather, and separation/divorce rate, and 17th for work environment, which included metrics like unemployment rate, share of adults worried about money and median credit score). But before you book your ticket to this island paradise, remember that residents are still asking mainlanders not to come amid post-pandemic over-tourism. 

Second in line is Maryland, which didn’t win any category outright but had a great overall score. Third is Minnesota, which also didn’t win a category. But friends, look at Utah! It is fourth in the list, but number one for work environment and community & environment.

Let’s look at the top 10: 

1. Hawaii

2. Maryland

3. Minnesota 

4. Utah

5. New Jersey

6. Idaho

7. California

8. Illinois

9. Nebraska

10. Connecticut

You can see the whole list here. We'll close with a few interesting tidbits to share at the office cooler: Coloradans get the most sleep per night, Californians have the most income growth and Vermont wins for safety. Now, go forth and be happy.

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