Happiest States in the U.S. Ranked

Hawaii is the happiest state in the U.S. based on its population's overall well-being, satisfaction with life and external environmental factors.

According to a report done by WalletHub, people in the island state seemed to be able to stay positive despite the events going on around such as the coronavirus pandemic. To determine how happy a state was, the company examined the 50 states across 32 key metrics. These included: the depression rate, positive COVID-19 testing rate, income growth and the unemployment rate.

Hawaii rates as the overall happiest state in the country, with Utah and Minnesota following second and third respectively.

"In order to determine the happiest states in America, WalletHub compared the 50 states across three key dimensions: emotional and physical well-being, work environment and community and environment," the company says on its website.

"We evaluated those dimensions using 32 relevant metrics," it continues. "Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing maximum happiness." The company then determined each state's weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order its sample.

The unhappiest states in the country include West Virginia, ranked last, Arkansas and Oklahoma. All three states ranked low on the three categories, with specific findings including the highest share of depression (West Virginia) and least safe (Arkansas).

However, even the happiest states have their low points—Hawaii has the lowest adequate sleep rate out of all 50 states. Perhaps not so surprising, Nevada was found to have the highest divorce rating, followed by Florida.

New Jersey, New York, California and Nevada had a lowest share of adult depression—New York and New Jersey also have some of the lowest suicide rates.

WalletHub Happiest States in the U.S.
A graphic showing the best and worst ranked states for depression, sleep rate, safety, divorce and more. WalletHub

The full ranking list is included below:

Overall Rank
(1 = Happiest)
StateTotal Score"Emotional & Physical Well-Being" Rank"Work Environment" Rank"Community & Environment" Rank
1Hawaii69.582163
2Utah69.421411
3Minnesota65.874410
4New Jersey64.1013022
5Maryland61.783339
6California61.1471813
7North Dakota60.021837
8Iowa59.6515611
9Idaho59.583422
10Connecticut59.2353817
11Nebraska59.069836
12South Dakota58.5322104
13Massachusetts57.3081243
14Virginia56.27112133
15Washington55.6027718
16Vermont55.5920246
17New York54.8664445
18Wisconsin54.32231719
19Nevada53.6729255
20Arizona53.47192032
21New Hampshire53.36241138
22Georgia52.73213624
23Colorado52.5717947
24Delaware52.25164335
25Texas51.04103150
26Rhode Island50.96252834
27Florida50.58123949
28Pennsylvania50.16264030
29Illinois50.14134546
30Maine50.12351420
31Wyoming49.26302339
32North Carolina49.19282742
33Kansas49.16311940
34South Carolina48.78362621
35Ohio48.37324125
36Indiana47.96332931
37Michigan47.27383523
38Montana47.2540541
39New Mexico47.0339468
40Missouri45.79412212
41Oregon43.67431329
42Alaska40.85374748
43Alabama40.28463416
44Mississippi39.52444814
45Tennessee39.21451544
46Kentucky38.29473226
47Louisiana38.15425028
48Oklahoma37.66483727
49Arkansas36.83494215
50West Virginia30.58504937

According to WalletHub, the data used to create this ranking was collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, United Health Foundation, Bureau of Labor Statisics and more. The COVID Tracking Project also contributed data.

iStock Mental Health Covid
Stock image: New York and New Jersey were ranked low for adult depression rates and suicide. iStock