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Hawaii - Rated the Happiest State!


Edited from an article by Jeanna Bryner, Published February 28, 2012, LiveScience

For the third year in a row, the Hawaii is rated the happiest U.S. state.  

Hawaii residents scored the highest in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.  Hawaii home view by Great Hawaii Vacations

In the survey, Hawaiians were the most likely to say they smiled or laughed a lot "yesterday," and the least likely residents to report daily worry or stress, or depression. The state also snagged the distinction of the nation's healthiest behaviors due to their good eating and exercise habits and lower smoking rates, according to Gallup.

According to Gallup, the 2011 telephone survey was carried out between Jan. 2 and Dec. 29, 2011 and included a random sample of 353,492 adults, ages 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Gallup relied on six measures:

    • Life evaluation (self-evaluation about your present life situation and anticipated one in five years)
    • Emotional health
    • Work environment (such as job satisfaction)
    • Physical health
    • Healthy behavior
    • Basic access (access to health care, a doctor, a safe place to exercise and walk, and community satisfaction)

Here are the top 10 states and their average well-being scores (out of a possible 100 points):

    1. Hawaii: 70.2
    2. North Dakota: 70.0
    3. Minnesota: 69.2
    4. Utah: 69.0
    5. Alaska: 69.0
    6. Colorado: 68.4
    7. Kansas: 68.4
    8. Nebraska: 68.3
    9. New Hampshire: 68.2
    10. Montana: 68.0

The bottom 11 states:

    • West Virginia: 62.3
    • Kentucky: 63.3
    • Mississippi: 63.4
    • Delaware: 64.2
    • Ohio: 64.5
    • Alabama: 64.6
    • Arkansas: 64.7
    • Missouri: 64.8
    • Florida: 64.9
    • Tennessee: 65.0
    • Nevada: 65.0

(Full list of happiest states)

In addition, happiness in itself is a tough nut to crack. What really makes people happy? [LiveScience's Happiness Tips]  A study published in the December 2009 issue of the Journal of Research in Personality found that states with higher gross regional product (GRP) per capita (level of productivity and standard of living), higher income levels and higher median housing value were significantly happier than poorer areas. The study looked at Gallup's 2008 well-being scores, finding that the happiest states that year also tended to have more residents with advanced educations and jobs that were considered "super-creative," such as architecture, engineering, computer and math occupations, library positions, arts and design work, as well as entertainment, sports and media occupations.  Another study, this one published in the Dec. 17, 2009 issue of the journal Science, found that a person's self-report about their well-being matches up well with objective measures, which take into account a state's weather, home prices and other factors that are known reasons to frown (or smile).

The team used their data to statistically create a representative American. That way they could take, for example, a 38-year-old woman with a high-school diploma and making medium-wage who is living anywhere and transplant her to another state and get a rough estimate of her happiness level.

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