But we’re no Hawaii.
Gallup’s poll, which they conduct annually, has found the Aloha State to be the happiest state in the union every year for the past 6 years.
But Minnesota still generates its fair share of smiles, coming in at #9.
So how do they determine happiness?
“These state-level data are based on more than 177,000 interviews with U.S. adults across all 50 states, conducted from January to December 2016. The Well-Being Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest possible well-being and 100 represents the highest possible well-being. In most cases, a difference of 0.5 to 1.0 points in the Well-Being Index score between any two states represents a statistically significant gap.”
Questions asked in the interview revolve around lifestyle, job, income, leisure, etc., and it seems that in Minnesota we generally feel pretty good about things with a 63.2 score.
Winter? No problem.
But it looks like the country as a whole is feeling a little better about life, as the U.S. Well-Being Index score rose from 61.7 in 2015 to a whopping 62.1 in 2016. Which, according to their above statement, is a “statistically significant gap.”
The latest poll also follows previous trends in terms of well-being related to region: States with the highest well-being are generally located in the Northern Plains and the Mountain West (top 2 states Hawaii and Alaska notwithstanding…), as well as in parts of the Northeast and the Southwest parts of the country.
The states with the lowest scores are found in the South and the industrial Midwest.
Read the whole study, including the implications of the data and how things external factors, like health insurance, are just as important as internal factors, for example Americans’ own feelings of self-worth, play a role in the rankings: