In these transient times, where we're constantly being urged to pick up and move in search of better jobs or a better quality of life — and many of us do know there's more than one place in the US we would call home — where is it, exactly, that would truly make us happy? Because, at least according to pop culture and the publishing industry, happiness is the new drug of choice.
That's just the quantified answer the team of analysts at Wallethub aimed to determine in their recently released study: 2017's Happiest States in America. The study ranked each of our 50 states across 28 key metrics, ranging from rates of depression to sports participation to income growth, and charted the top three rankings — Emotional & Physical Well-Being, Work Environment and Community — to qualify which states were the happiest, in order.
The shocking discovery, at least to those who prize warm weather, in this Olympics of Real Estate Happiness? Minnesota took the gold, followed by Utah in silver, with "paradise on earth" Hawaii taking a mere bronze and the "sunshine state" of California the pewter medal.
The remainder of the top 10 spots are a bit head-scratching, too, if you're a follower of such historically ranked geographical lists — spanning from stereotypical "flyover states" to the so-called "armpit": Nebraska in 5th, New Jersey in 6th, South Dakota in 7th, Iowa in 8th, Wisconsin in 9th, and New Hampshire rounding out the 10th.
At least to this New Englander, it wasn't at all shocking to see five of the six states that comprise the region known for great schools and four (okay three) spectacular seasons making it into the top 25 rankings (sorry Rhode Island, at 33).
To see where your favorite states fall in the rankings, check out Wallethub's Happiest States in America listings here. The chart is default-sorted to "Total Score", but you can also re-sort the data alphabetically, or by each of the top three ranking metrics, to see how your ideal move stacks up against the competition in the areas that matter most to you.
Because that's what really matters to individual happiness, right? Right.