This Is the Happiest State in the U.S., According to Research

The Beehive State is really shining, according to a WalletHub report.

How happy are you, really? If you live in Utah, apparently, you’re the happiest.

WalletHub released its annual "Happiest States in America" report, showcasing which states have the “highest satisfaction with life.”

“Even though people across the U.S. are facing difficult times, the state in which you live may have an impact on how happy you are,” WalletHub wrote in its report. “WalletHub drew upon the findings of ‘happiness’ research to determine which environmental factors are linked to a person’s overall well-being and satisfaction with life. Previous studies have found that good economic, emotional, physical, and social health are all key to a well-balanced and fulfilled life.”

Related: Travel + Leisure Readers' 10 Favorite Resorts in Utah of 2023

To find the happiness level of each state and determine its rankings, the website measured all 50 states across 30 metrics, including depression rates, productivity, income growth, unemployment rates, sports participation rates, work environments, and even down to a state’s sleep rate.

After compiling the data, WalletHub revealed that Utah came out as the happiest state of all, specifically noting the state also has the highest volunteer rate, 40.7 percent, which “is 2.6 times higher than in Florida,” the state with the lowest volunteer rate. (The data suggests that helping others can really make you happier in the process.) Utah also clocked in with the lowest separation and divorce rate in the nation.

<p>Tetra Images/Getty Images</p>

Tetra Images/Getty Images

Hawaii came in as the second happiest state, followed by Maryland, Minnesota, and New Jersey rounding out the top five. All five of the states scored high marks in the “emotional and well-being” category as well as “community and environment.”

The least happy state went to West Virginia, which scored last in “emotional and well-being” and in “work environment” and came in at the 33rd spot for “community and environment.”

But, even if your state ranked low in the listings, the experts in the WalletHub study shared that happiness is still up to you.

“The more mindful we are, the less stress we experience and the happier we will be,” Ellen Langer, a professor in the department of psychology at the Harvard Faculty of Arts and Sciences, said. “If you are mindful and feel supported and cared for by those around you, you can be happy wherever you are.”

See the entire WalletHub study and every state’s ranking at

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