Sunshine States Are Happiest, Yanks Are Miserable

Friday, Dec 18, 2009  |  Updated 2:46 PM CDT
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Sunshine States Are Happiest, Yanks Are Miserable

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People in sunny, outdoorsy states -- Louisiana, Hawaii, Florida -- say they're the happiest Americans, and researchers think they know why.

A new study comparing self-described pleasant feelings with objective measures of good living found those folks generally have reason to feel fine.

The places where people are most likely to report happiness also tend to rate high on studies comparing things like climate, crime rates, air quality and schools.

Ranking No. 1 in happiness was Louisiana, home of Dixieland music and Cajun/Creole cooking.

Texas came in 15th.

The happiness ratings were based on a survey of 1.3 million people across the country by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It used data collected over four years that included a question asking people how satisfied they are with their lives.

The state-by-state list, from happiest to least cheery:

1. Louisiana
2. Hawaii
3. Florida
4. Tennessee
5. Arizona
6. South Carolina
7. Mississippi
8. Montana
9. Alabama
10. Maine
11. Wyoming
12. Alaska
13. North Carolina
14. South Dakota
15. Texas
16. Idaho
17. Vermont
18. Arkansas
19. Georgia
20. Utah
21. Oklahoma
22. Delaware
23. Colorado
24. New Mexico
25. North Dakota
26. Minnesota
27. Virginia
28. New Hampshire
29. Wisconsin
30. Oregon
31. Iowa
32. Kansas
33. Nebraska
34. West Virginia
35. Kentucky
36. Washington
37. District of Columbia
38. Missouri
39. Nevada
40. Maryland
41. Pennsylvania
42. Rhode Island
43. Ohio
44. Massachusetts
45. Illinois
46. California
47. New Jersey
48. Indiana
49. Michigan
50. Connecticut
51. New York

On the Net: Science: http://www.sciencemag.org

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