The 11 Happiest States in the US

Happiness can be defined in a lot of different ways, and people can find happiness even in the roughest of situations. Still, when it comes to happiness as a sociological metric, a few key ingredients seem to be most important.

Happiness can be defined in a lot of different ways, and people can find happiness even in the roughest of situations. Still, when it comes to happiness as a sociological metric, a few key ingredients seem to be most important.

The consumer finance website WalletHub has just released its annual report on the Happiest States in America. We’ll get to the least happy states at a later date. For now, we’ll take a look at the 11 states ranked “most happy.”

There are various ways to measure happiness, but WalletHub zeroed in on three main areas: Emotional and Physical Wellbeing, a look at self-reflected satisfaction, health, depression rates, and other factors; Work Environment, which focuses on incomes, commute times, unemployment, and similar stats; and Community, Environment, and Recreational Activities, which covers everything from weather to volunteerism rates.

What follows are the Top 11 states on the list. Included in each capsule is the state’s rank in each of the three main categories, as well as its ranking in last year’s study.

11. South Dakota

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 13

Work Environment Rank: 13

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 17

2014 Rank: 9

10. Wyoming

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 17

Work Environment Rank: 12

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 9

2014 Rank: 6

9. Massachusetts

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 11

Work Environment Rank: 16

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 18

2014 Rank: 16

8. Iowa

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 27

Work Environment Rank: 2

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 11

2014 Rank: 7

7. Washington

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 22

Work Environment Rank: 4

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 5

2014 Rank: 17

6. Nebraska

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 9

Work Environment Rank: 14

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 6

2014 Rank: 5

5. North Dakota

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 17

Work Environment Rank: 3

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 7

2014 Rank: 3

4. Colorado

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 3

Work Environment Rank: 18

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 8

2014 Rank: 4

3. Hawaii

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 2

Work Environment Rank: 24

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 2

2014 Rank: 8

2. Minnesota

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 1

Work Environment Rank: 7

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 3

2014 Rank: 2

1. Utah

Emotional and Physical Wellbeing Rank: 4

Work Environment Rank: 1

Community, Environment, Recreation Rank: 1

2014 Rank: 1

To read WalletHub’s full list, click here.