The happiest states in the US, ranked

Yulia Mayorova/ShutterstockExperts say happiness largely depends on exercise, sleep, and good social ties.

  • Happiness can be tough to quantify.
  • The researchers at MagnifyMoney created a state ranking of where the happiest Americans live, based on metrics determined by Oxford economists.
  • The happiest states are in the Midwest and Mountain regions.

It might seem impossible to put happiness into numbers, but Oxford economists defined it as having good health, economic stability, and a lifestyle with good social ties and plenty of time spent outside of work.

The researchers at MagnifyMoney applied those barometers to the US to see where people are the happiest.

To measure that, MagnifyMoney used data from sources like the US Census Bureau and Gallup to determine a health, lifestyle, and prosperity score for each state. Then they compiled a score based off those three markers. (You can read more about their methodology here.)

States in the Midwest and Mountain regions, like Minnesota, South Dakota, and Colorado, have the happiest folks, while the South and East Coast tend to have a lower baseline happiness, the data found.

But, if you want to be happier, this doesn’t mean you should move to South Dakota. You should stay put where you have tons of social connections.

Another quick way to boost your well-being isn’t to focus on making impressive jumps in your career, huge vacations, or meeting your soulmate, as Business Insider’s Shana Lebowitz has reported. It’s better to focus on daily routines that allow you to exercise regularly, sleep a full eight hours, and get your finances under control.

In ascending order, here’s how every state ranks on happiness. Scores for each category are out of 50.


50. Louisiana

Azovtsev Maksym/Shutterstock

Final Score: 29.8

Health Rank: 37

Lifestyle Rank: 50

Economic Stability: 50


49. Rhode Island

Final Score: 30.8

Health Rank: 44

Lifestyle Rank: 49

Economic Stability: 39


48. West Virginia

Final Score: 30.9

Health Rank: 49

Lifestyle Rank: 46

Economic Stability: 36


47. Alabama

Samuel Borges Photography/Shutterstock

Final Score: 33.1

Health Rank: 50

Lifestyle Rank: 40

Economic Stability: 38


46. Mississippi

mimagephotography/Shutterstock

Final Score: 33.5

Health Rank: 36

Lifestyle Rank: 48

Economic Stability: 48


45. Kentucky

Chris Jackson/Getty Images for Ascot Racecourse

Final Score: 29.8

Health Rank: 37

Lifestyle Rank: 50

Economic Stability: 50


44. Arkansas

Final Score: 36.2

Health Rank: 41

Lifestyle Rank: 44

Economic Stability: 31


43. Tennessee

Final Score: 36.9

Health Rank: 47

Lifestyle Rank: 37

Economic Stability: 29


42. Nevada

Final Score: 38.7

Health Rank: 28

Lifestyle Rank: 47

Economic Stability: 47


41. Georgia

Final Score: 38.7

Health Rank: 42

Lifestyle Rank: 33

Economic Stability: 45


40. Delaware

Nestor Rizhniak/Shutterstock

Final Score: 38.8

Health Rank: 46

Lifestyle Rank: 41

Economic Stability: 19


39. New York

mavo/Shuttestock

Final Score: 39.7

Health Rank: 35

Lifestyle Rank: 38

Economic Stability: 19


38. Ohio

fizkes/Shuttestock

Final Score: 40.2

Health Rank: 39

Lifestyle Rank: 43

Economic Stability: 20


37. Oklahoma

Final Score: 41.2

Health Rank: 40

Lifestyle Rank: 39

Economic Stability: 22


36. Michigan

Tyler Olson/Shutterstock

Final Score: 38.7

Health Rank: 42

Lifestyle Rank: 33

Economic Stability: 45


35. South Carolina

Lyubov Levitskaya/Shutterstock

Final Score: 41.9

Health Rank: 34

Lifestyle Rank: 42

Economic Stability: 41


34. Maryland

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Final Score: 44.4

Health Rank: 43

Lifestyle Rank: 17

Economic Stability: 30


33. New Mexico

Shutterstock

Final Score: 45.9

Health Rank: 43

Lifestyle Rank: 17

Economic Stability: 30


32. Indiana

Final Score: 46.0

Health Rank: 38

Lifestyle Rank: 30

Economic Stability: 12


31. Pennsylvania

Final Score: 46.6

Health Rank: 32

Lifestyle Rank: 32

Economic Stability: 25


30. Connecticut

Final Score: 47.6

Health Rank: 30

Lifestyle Rank: 28

Economic Stability: 34


29. Florida

Roma Black/Shutterstock

Final Score: 47.6

Health Rank: 30

Lifestyle Rank: 28

Economic Stability: 34


28. North Carolina

Final Score: 47.8

Health Rank: 29

Lifestyle Rank: 23

Economic Stability: 42


27. Massachusetts

Final Score: 49.0

Health Rank: 31

Lifestyle Rank: 21

Economic Stability: 35


26. New Jersey

Halfpoint/Shutterstock

Final Score: 49.6

Health Rank: 24

Lifestyle Rank: 22

Economic Stability: 43


25. Missouri

Alex Edelman/Getty Images

Final Score: 49.6

Health Rank: 24

Lifestyle Rank: 22

Economic Stability: 43


24. Illinois

Final Score: 52.0

Health Rank: 19

Lifestyle Rank: 34

Economic Stability: 28


23. Maine

Final Score: 52.6

Health Rank: 27

Lifestyle Rank: 16

Economic Stability: 18


22. Virginia

Final Score: 53.7

Health Rank: 26

Lifestyle Rank: 13

Economic Stability: 23


21. California

Final Score: 53.8

Health Rank: 11

Lifestyle Rank: 26

Economic Stability: 40


20. Texas

fitzcrittle/Shutterstock

Final Score: 53.9

Health Rank: 16

Lifestyle Rank: 27

Economic Stability: 27


19. Alaska

Final Score: 54.6

Health Rank: 18

Lifestyle Rank: 19

Economic Stability: 33


18. Oregon

Shelby Soblick/Getty Images for SOBEWFF

Final Score: 56.2

Health Rank: 15

Lifestyle Rank: 14

Economic Stability: 26


17. Arizona

Ian Rutherford/Getty Images

Final Score: 56.3

Health Rank: 13

Lifestyle Rank: 15

Economic Stability: 32


16. Hawaii

LMspencer/Shutterstock

Final Score: 59.2

Health Rank: 22

Lifestyle Rank: 2

Economic Stability: 37


15. Washington

Final Score: 59.7

Health Rank: 12

Lifestyle Rank: 11

Economic Stability: 21


14. Kansas

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Final Score: 60.6

Health Rank: 7

Lifestyle Rank: 31

Economic Stability: 8


13. Idaho

AnnaTamila/Shutterstock

Final Score: 60.8

Health Rank: 14

Lifestyle Rank: 7

Economic Stability: 16


12. Vermont

Yulia Mayorova/Shutterstock

Final Score: 60.8

Health Rank: 10

Lifestyle Rank: 12

Economic Stability: 15


11. Wyoming

Margaret.W/Shutterstock

Final Score: 62.5

Health Rank: 20

Lifestyle Rank: 8

Economic Stability: 5


10. Montana

tongcom photographer/Shutterstock

Final Score: 62.5

Health Rank: 9

Lifestyle Rank: 6

Economic Stability: 14


9. New Hampshire

Shutterstock

Final Score: 63.8

Health Rank: 17

Lifestyle Rank: 5

Economic Stability: 7


8. Iowa

dotshock/Shutterstock.com

Final Score: 64.4

Health Rank: 5

Lifestyle Rank: 19

Economic Stability: 9


7. Nebraska

Final Score: 64.8

Health Rank: 4

Lifestyle Rank: 24

Economic Stability: 10


6. Wisconsin

Final Score: 67.3

Health Rank: 8

Lifestyle Rank: 9

Economic Stability: 3


5. North Dakota

Natalie magic/Shutterstock

Final Score: 67.4

Health Rank: 6

Lifestyle Rank: 10

Economic Stability: 4


4. Utah

Final Score: 69.0

Health Rank: 21

Lifestyle Rank: 1

Economic Stability: 1


3. Colorado

Final Score: 70.5

Health Rank: 2

Lifestyle Rank: 4

Economic Stability: 13


2. South Dakota

Final Score: 72.0

Health Rank: 1

Lifestyle Rank: 20

Economic Stability: 2


1. Minnesota

Dean Drobot/Shutterstock

Final Score: 73.3

Health Rank: 3

Lifestyle Rank: 3

Economic Stability: 6

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