Sunshine States Are Happiest, Yanks Are Miserable

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    NEWSLETTERS

    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