The Happiest State in the Country Is on the Coast (No Surprise!)
Depression rates here are among the lowest in the U.S.
When you vacation by the beach, you probably feel a sense of contentment, ease, and overall joy. You’re not imagining it: The beach really does make you happier (and science proves it!).
So, when personal finance site WalletHub.com recently crunched the numbers to determine where the happiest of the happy live in the U.S., it came as little surprise to us that residents there are never too far from an idyllic stretch of sand or a dynamite ocean view.
According to the report, Hawaii—everyone’s favorite island paradise—came out on top as the most blissful U.S. state, based on 31 key metrics that influence overall happiness. To prepare the report, Wallethub drew upon the findings of happiness research, which typically conclude that a combination of social, economic, emotional, and physical health all contribute to a person’s well-being. Factors such as depression rates and sports participation rates were measured along with things such as job satisfaction and safety of an environment.
Related: Plan the Perfect Weekend on Oahu:
Hawaii performed exceptionally in the Emotional and Physical Well-Being category, which takes into account measures of physical activity and life expectancy as well as self-reported feelings of life purpose. The 50th state also excelled in Community and Environment, which considers things like weather, leisure time, volunteer rates, and divorce rates—of which Hawaii has the 5th lowest in the country.
This isn’t the first time Hawaii has been deemed a standout place to live. For six years in a row (through 2016), the archipelago ranked number one for the highest well-being in the Gallup-Healthways State Wellbeing Report. And the state capital, Honolulu, took first prize in the 2018 Global Livability Index, which analyzes which cities have the best living conditions in the world.
But, funny enough, while Hawaii consistently ranks high in many categories that contribute to general well-being, in the Wallethub report, it came in last in the “adequate sleep rate” ranking. Which begs the question: Is the key to happiness sipping late-night Mai Tais on a starlit beach? (Definitely yes.)
See how all the coastal states stacked up here: