The unhappiest state?

frown faceA study published in the journal Science (press release) this week concludes that people in New York State have the "lowest satisfaction with life" of any state.

The study, which was conducted by researchers in the UK and at Hamilton College here in New York, wasn't exactly out to rank the satisfaction of people in each state. The researchers were looking to see how closely responses to the question "In general, how satisfied are you with your life?" on an annual CDC survey match up with a model based on objective measures such as weather, commuting time and crime.

The researchers report that the two approaches have a strong positive correlation (that is, they match up well). And, as it happens, New York State ranks last in both models.

So, which state is first? Based on the survey data, Louisiana is #1 (the objective measures model had Wyoming pegged as #1, with Louisiana at #8).

The full rankings from the latest study (the one based on survey responses) are after the jump.

Earlier on AOA: New York is for neurotics

  1. Louisiana
  2. Hawaii
  3. Florida
  4. Tennessee
  5. Arizona
  6. Mississippi
  7. Montana
  8. South Carolina
  9. Alabama
  10. Maine
  11. Alaska
  12. North Carolina
  13. Wyoming
  14. Idaho
  15. South Dakota
  16. Texas
  17. Arkansas
  18. Vermont
  19. Georgia
  20. Oklahoma
  21. Colorado
  22. Delaware
  23. Utah
  24. New Mexico
  25. North Dakota
  26. Minnesota
  27. New Hampshire
  28. Virginia
  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. Massachusetts
  44. Ohio
  45. Illinois
  46. California
  47. Indiana
  48. Michigan
  49. New Jersey
  50. Connecticut
  51. New York


Is the ranking shown for the survey or the objective measures?

Either way, there are quite a few surprises (California, for one)

@Jessica: The rankings are based on the survey response data. I just updated the post to make that clear.

This is not surprising for the state with the second highest tax rate and the most dysfunctional government in the country. The only happy people are the jokers in the assembly that can do as they please without consequences.

What is surprising? Is that people still move here.

I'd be interested to know if the suicide rate matches the above stats.

How is Hawaii not number 1?

Wow! Louisiana #1 and Mississippi #6 in this post-Katrina era sure proves that happiness is all in the attitude!

Funny, I see something of an inverse relationship with this US Census state educational level info.

Maybe ignorance really is bliss.

Hey! I live here and I STILL like it!

I read an article about this study on another website and it said it was conducted pre-Katrina. It would be interesting to see if that effected the results and how.

If it was post-September 11 and pre-Katrina that would explain a lot.

Not to be defensive but I do heart New York; am pretty happy myself; and don't find the New Yorkers I see each day very unhappy.

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