In a year of a life-changing pandemic, Hawaii ranked as the happiest state in America.
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted life as we know it, causing sickness, limiting social interactions and leading to widespread job losses. During these trials, which have had a strong negative impact on Americans’ mental health, this is why WalletHub searched for the states where people can stay positive despite the circumstances. For the elaboration of the study, WalletHub drew upon the findings of “happiness” research to determine which environmental factors are linked to a person’s overall well-being and satisfaction with life. Previous studies have found that good economic, emotional, physical and social health are all key to a well-balanced and fulfilled life.
By looking at each of the 50 states with 32 metrics which included three dimensions on a 100-point scale, weighting “emotional and physical well-being” with 50 points and “work environment” and “community and environment” with 25 points each, the WalletHub study recently released revealed Hawaii ranked first as the Happiest State in America, followed by Utah, Minnesota, New Jersey, Maryland, California, North Dakota, Iowa, Idaho, and Connecticut.
The study also revealed top rankings in subcategories like adult depression, work hours, income growth, safety and divorce finding that states like Minnesota are on top when considering the highest adequate sleep, while New Jersey showed the lowest share of adult depression, North Dakota the lowest long-term unemployment rate, Utah with the highest volunteer rate, and Maine as the safest state in the country.
Before lockdowns started spreading in March, WalletHub also released the results of its Happiest Cities in America study, which used similar metrics. Fremont, California; Plano, Texas; San Jose, California; Irvine, California; and Madison, Wisconsin made the top five. The top-ranking Hawaiian city was Pearl City in the 10th slot, with Honolulu also on the list at number 56.