2016 study names Utah ‘Happiest State in America’

Stock image: Delicate Arch in Arches National Park Utah, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Utah was named the Happiest State in America by a new study released Monday by the personal-finance website WalletHub which compared 28 key metrics, ranging from emotional health to income levels to sports participation rates.

WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 28 key metrics, ranging from emotional health to income levels to sports participation rates to determine which states are home to the happiest Americans.

Salt Lake City, Utah | St. George News
Salt Lake City, Utah | St. George News

“Income isn’t the only determinant of personal happiness,” the study notes. “Apart from financial security, a pleasant state of being also depends on other factors, such as one’s physical health, personal purpose and social connectivity.”

The survey found Utah has the lowest divorce rate, the lowest number of work hours, and the highest volunteerism rate.

Utah has the fifth-lowest obesity rate, sixth-lowest in long-term unemployment, and sixth-best in safety, according to the study. Utah ranks 10th in income growth, 12th on the “hedonometer” for general happiness, and 13th for adequate sleep.

Notwithstanding, the survey reports Utah has the fourth-highest suicide rate.

Still, analysts ranked Utah as the happiest state in America, followed by Minnesota in second, North Dakota in third, Hawaii in fourth and Colorado in fifth.

The unhappiest state was named West Virginia, which was found to have the third-highest depression rate, third-highest obesity rate and first-lowest volunteerism rate in the country.


Hoover over each state to see its happiness ranking.

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