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Poll: America’s happiest and most miserable states

February 20, 2014
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happy Poll: Americas happiest and most miserable states

The Dakotas are happier than your state

When people are happy, the atmosphere at your business is happy and people want to open their wallets, so if you life in North Dakota, the happiest state in the nation, it stands to reason that transactions might be more pleasant, but in West Virginia, the least happy state, it may not be the case.

According to a new Gallup Poll out today, they have polled oveer 176,000 from all 50 states to examine the physical and emotional health of the nation. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index numbers reflect the overall health, employment, education and the local environment, research director Dan Witters told 24/7 Wall St.

Nationally, the index dropped slightly in 2013 from 2012, but improved in several states.

bar Poll: Americas happiest and most miserable states
So in areas where the economy is not flailing, people are healthy and educated, employment rates are positive, and well-being in the area is perceived to be positive, and well-being may provide further opportunities to develop communities and improve happiness even further.



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West Virginia, Kentucky are pretty miserable

Rounding out the top ten is states where people are less likely to smoke, more likely to exercise, and more likely to be open to improving their lives through learning new things daily.

According to the study, states with the lowest well-being scores have populations that may not have access to basic necessities and exhibit unhealthy behaviors, both of which hurt emotional and physical health.

Where does your state rank?

The full list is available on Gallup’s interactive map, and below are the happiest and most miserable states in America (scores are on a scale of 1-100):

The Top 10 Happiest States:

  1. North Dakota: 70.4
  2. South Dakota, 70.0
  3. Nebraska, 69.7
  4. Minnesota, 69.7
  5. Montana, 69.3
  6. Vermont, 69.1
  7. Colorado, 68.9
  8. Hawaii, 68.4
  9. Washington, 68.3
  10. Iowa, 68.2

The 10 Least Happy States:

50. West Virginia, 61.4

49. Kentucky, 63.0

48. Mississippi, 63.7

47. Alabama, 64.1

46. Ohio, 64.2

45. Arkansas, 64.3

44. Tennessee, 64.3

43. Missouri, 64.5

42. Oklahoma, 64.7

41. Louisiana, 64.9

Where does your state rank, and do you believe it?

Note: as of publication, Gallup has not yet updated their interactive maps to reflect the Well-Being Index, but sources tell us they are in the process, so we will leave the links above as they are.

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.