America’s Happiest States

What would make you happy? “Well, if I could live in paradise, that would make me happy,” might be one reply.  There might be something to that. A new Gallup survey reveals which states are happiest, and Hawaii comes out on top. Bummer for those who live in West Virginia. Dead last! They’re pretty glum about the news. Naturally. 

Am I Happy?

Since I don’t live in Hawaii or West Virginia, I quickly glanced down the list to see how “happy” I really am. Not very, according to the survey. Oklahoma is 38th, just a little happier than Indiana (#39), but one state sadder than Florida (#37). There goes the theory that sun, surf and Mickey will make you happy!

How Happiness is Determined

The survey looked at six categories of well-being:

  • Life evaluation: How we feel like our lives are now and how they will be.
  • Emotional health: How we feel.
  • Work environment: Whether we like our jobs and our bosses.
  • Physical health: How healthy we are.
  • Healthy behaviors: How little we smoke and how well we eat.
  • Basic access: How we feel about our community and how accessible health care, food and other needs are.

Alvin Wong. Who’s that?

He’s the statistical composite for the happiest person in

Alvin Wong "Happiest Person in America"

America, as determined by the New York Times. He lives in Hawaii, of course. Wong’s reply to the Times was, “This is a practical joke, right?” He also said, “My life philosophy is, if you can’t laugh at yourself, life is going to be pretty terrible for you.”

You certainly can’t go wong with that.

(Full list of happiest states.)

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