The 20 Happiest States in America

Anna Green
istock / istock

We’ve written about the cities with the lowest cost of living, the states with the best and worst economies, and even the states where Millennials make the most money—but affordable housing and a high employment rate doesn't necessarily spell happiness. In order to identify the states where people are the most content, WalletHub delved into the relative emotional health, physical well-being, work environment, and community activities of people across all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

Using 28 weighted happiness metrics, WalletHub calculated a happiness score for each state. Utah was deemed the happiest state in the country, with high scores in all major categories. Other states, meanwhile, received high marks in certain metrics and lower rankings in others: Oregon, for instance, had the highest depression rate in the country, but also the highest sports participation rate. Hawaii, meanwhile, had both the lowest depression rate and the lowest “hedonometer” ranking (a measurement of personal hedonism on social media), while North Dakota had both the lowest long-term unemployment rate and highest income growth. Check out the happiest states in America below.

1. Utah
2. Minnesota
3. North Dakota
4. Hawaii
5. Colorado
6. Idaho
7. Iowa
8. Nebraska
9. South Dakota
10. California
11. New Hampshire
12. Washington
13. Wyoming
14. Vermont
15. Wisconsin
16. Massachusetts
17. Connecticut
18. District of Columbia
19. Delaware
20. New Jersey