WalletHub's 2016 Happiest States in America

WalletHub- Can money truly buy happiness? Most people might be inclined to say no, based on moral principles. But some researchers beg to differ, suggesting that money can indeed contribute to happiness — but only up to a certain dollar amount. According to their findings, life satisfaction, one of the two main components of happiness, increases as income rises — to a maximum of $75,000 a year. Beyond that figure, money makes little difference in a person’s overall contentment with life.

Reinforcing those findings are the annual results of a Gallup-Healthways poll measuring global well-being. According to Gallup-Healthways, “People who make more money tend to report higher positive emotions.” But income isn’t the only determinant of personal happiness. 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.

WalletHub’s analysts considered all of these elements to determine which states are home to the happiest Americans. In order to do so, we compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 28 key metrics, ranging from emotional health to income levels to sports participation rates.

1 Utah 71.02
2 Minnesota 69.09
3 North Dakota 67.95
4 Hawaii 66.63
5 Colorado 61.59
6 Idaho 60.93
7 Iowa 60.92
8 Nebraska 60.65
9 South Dakota 60.08
10 California 59.96
11 New Hampshire 59.50
12 Washington 59.26
13 Wyoming 59.24
14 Vermont 58.01
15 Wisconsin 57.80
16 Massachusetts 57.42
17 Connecticut 57.04
18 District of Columbia 57.01
19 Delaware 57.01
20 New Jersey 56.82
21 Virginia 56.61
22 Montana 55.49
23 Maryland 55.14
24 Kansas 54.55
25 Illinois 52.60
26 New York 52.54
27 Rhode Island 52.37
28 Alaska 52.23
29 Texas 52.23
30 North Carolina 52.16
31 Arizona 51.51
32 Oregon 51.40
33 Maine 51.32
34 Pennsylvania 49.98
35 Florida 49.14
36 Nevada 48.23
37 Georgia 47.43
38 South Carolina 47.06
39 Ohio 46.04
40 Indiana 45.94
41 New Mexico 45.02
42 Missouri 44.58
43 Michigan 44.17
44 Oklahoma 41.36
45 Tennessee 39.96
46 Louisiana 39.03
47 Arkansas 38.22
48 Mississippi 36.05
49 Kentucky 35.08
50 Alabama 34.15
51 West Virginia 32.65