What’s your favorite U.S. travel destination—and what metric do you apply to determine that?
Is it cost? Entertainment? Activities? How about just how happy the place is?
Recently, personal finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of the happiest states in America.
It compared all 50 states across 28 key indicators of happiness, from emotional health to income level to participation in sports.
Who topped the happiness list? There were a few surprises across the board.
Here are the top ten happiest states in America:
6. New Jersey
7. South Dakota
10. New Hampshire
States with the lowest share of adult depression were Hawaii, New Jersey, California, Illinois, New York, and Virginia. The states with the highest share of adult depression were Oregon, Maine, Arkansas, West Virginia, and Vermont.
Of course, unemployment rates are a factor in overall happiness. The states with the lowest long-term unemployment rates were North Dakota, Alaska, Iowa, Nebraska, and Montana. The states with the highest long-term unemployment rates were New Mexico, New Jersey, Illinois, Florida, and Maryland.
What about income growth? The states with the lowest income growth were Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and California. The states with the highest income growth were North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Alaska.
Here are the ten least happy states in America:
1. West Virginia
Safety was also one of the measurements. The states that ranked least safe were Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Missouri. The safest states were Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and New Hampshire.
Here’s a measurement that might surprise you—the volunteer rate. The states with the lowest volunteer rate were Florida, Mississippi, New York, Nevada, and Louisiana. The states with the highest volunteer rate were Utah, South Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Nebraska.
Last but not least, what’s one thing we all can’t live without? Other than food and water, it’s sleep. Not all states were the same in the sleep category.
The states with the highest adequate-sleep rate were Colorado, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, and Nebraska. Those with less sleep were Hawaii, Maryland, Kentucky, Michigan, and Alabama.
Want to learn about more surveys for cities and states in the United States? Check out:
- The Best & Worst Cities for Drivers Around the Country
- U.S. Cities With the Highest & Lowest Divorce Rates
- The Most Fun States Around the Country
Keep reading for more travel tips.