Money can’t buy happiness, but apparently, living nearby a dreamy stretch of sand can.

By Marisa Spyker
September 10, 2019
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When you put the United States up against the rest of the world, our levels of happiness might seem rather grim. According to the 2019 World Happiness Report, the U.S. ranks just 19th in terms of overall contentment, lagging behind many European countries as well as Canada and Costa Rica.

But not all Americans are as affected by the stresses that make life anything but a picnic (or, in this case, a pupu platter). So where do people go for their best chance at pure bliss? According to a new ranking, that magical destination would be Hawaii.

For the second year in a row, financial management company Wallethub has crowned the Aloha State the happiest in America, based on 31 key metrics that can affect overall well-being, from job satisfaction to divorce rates. According to the study, the general happiness of a population can be determined by looking at three categories of wellness, from “Emotional and Physical Well-Being” to “Work Environment” and “Community and Environment.”

Related: Meet the Happiest Seaside Towns in America: 

Of the three categories, Hawaiians performed exceptionally in Emotional Well-Being, with the lowest rates of adult depression in the country. (The category also took into account physical health and life expectancy.) The state’s low divorce rates and high income growth also earned it happiness brownie points.  

But while the ranking did take into account Hawaii’s stellar weather, it didn’t reward the island paradise for its wealth of water views—and perhaps it should have. According to, well, science, just being near the ocean is proven to put us into a mild state of euphoria known as “Blue Mind,” which can lower stress and anxiety in addition to heart and breathing rates.

So the question is, are Hawaiians truly happier, or are they simply under the influence of the ocean?

See how every state stacked up in Wallethub’s Happiest States in America study below:

Source: WalletHub