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The 20 happiest states in the US, ranked

A person’s level of happiness can be affected by a number of factors, such as geneticsnutrition, and levels of physical activity. But it may also help to live in one of the happiest states in the US.

The personal-finance website WalletHub released a new report ranking the happiest states in the US according to 30 metrics across three categories: emotional and physical well-being, work environment, and community and environment. By examining factors such as life expectancy, unemployment rates, mental health, and safety, WalletHub scored each state to determine its level of happiness.

Here are the top 20 happiest states in the US, ranked by WalletHub.

20. South Carolina

A bridge over a river with buildings on either side.
Downtown Greenville, South Carolina. 

WalletHub ranked South Carolina 28th in emotional and physical well-being, 20th in work environment, and 11th in community and environment.

19. Wisconsin

Buildings lining a body of water.

Wisconsin was ranked 19th in emotional and physical well-being, 13th in work environment, and 32nd in community and environment.

18. South Dakota

A river with buildings either side.
Sioux Falls, South Dakota. 

South Dakota featured the fourth-lowest rate of adult depression (tied with Maryland), the fifth-best adequate sleep rate, and tied with North Dakota for the lowest long-term unemployment rate. South Dakota, however, also featured the fifth-highest suicide rate.

17. Illinois

Chicago, Illinois.

Illinois’ emotional and physical well-being was ranked ninth overall. It placed 37th in work environment and 40th in community and environment.

16. New York

New York City aerial view
New York City. 

New York featured the second-lowest suicide rate of any state but also had the second-highest long-term unemployment rate (tied with Delaware). It ranked seventh in emotional and physical well-being and 39th in both the work environment and the community and environment categories.

15. New Hampshire

Fall foliage reflected in a lake.
The shores of Lake Winnipesaukee in Meredith, New Hampshire. 

New Hampshire featured the fifth-highest sports participation rate and was ranked the third-safest state.

14. Virginia

Downtown Charlottesville, Virginia.
Downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. 

Virginia earned rankings of 13th in emotional and physical well-being and 35th in community and environment. It made the top 10 of the work environment, ranking in eighth place.

13. North Dakota

A street with cars.
Fargo, North Dakota. 

North Dakota’s divorce rate was the second-lowest of all US states, WalletHub found. While North Dakota featured the lowest long-term unemployment rate, it had the second-lowest income growth.

12. Massachusetts

Boston skyline at sunset with yellow and red autumn trees

The suicide rate in Massachusetts was the third-lowest in the country. Employees in Massachusetts also work the fifth-fewest number of hours, tied with Connecticut.

11. Delaware

Buildings and trees reflected on water.
Wilmington, Delaware. 

Delaware ranked 11th in emotional and physical well-being and 29th in work environment. Its community and environment earned sixth place.

10. Nebraska

Omaha, Nebraska
Omaha, Nebraska. 

Nebraska’s fourth-highest adequate sleep rate and fifth-lowest divorce rate helped secure its spot in the top 10 happiest states.

9. Idaho

A view of a town with a river from a mountain.
Lewiston, Idaho. 

Idaho had the second-best community and environment ranking. It also featured the fourth-lowest unemployment rate (tied with Iowa and Kansas) and the fourth-highest income growth.

8. Florida

A city by a beach.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida. 

Florida’s rate of adult depression was the second-lowest in the country. It ranked 50th in volunteer rate, however, and 46th in divorce rate.

7. California

An upward shot of palm trees and buildings.
Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, California. 

California was found to have the third-lowest rate of adult depression, which contributed to its overall ranking of fifth in emotional and physical well-being. The state placed 34th in the work environment category and 10th in community and environment.

6. Connecticut

Buildings reflected on water at sunset.
Hartford, Connecticut. 

Two of Connecticut’s rankings made the top 10, placing fifth in emotional and physical well-being and 10th in community and environment. Its work-environment ranking was 32nd, likely because its long-term unemployment rate and income growth scored in the bottom five.

5. New Jersey

A boat with "Cape May" on the side sits on the sand.
Cape May Beach in New Jersey. 

New Jersey ranked third in emotional and physical well-being with the lowest suicide rate and the third-lowest divorce rate. Its work environment was ranked 14th and its community and environment was ranked 29th.

4. Minnesota

Buildings reflected on water.
St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Minnesota’s ranking as the state with the second-highest adequate-sleep rate and third-highest volunteer rate contributed to its solid rankings across categories: 10th in emotional and physical well-being, third in work environment, and 13th in community and environment.

3. Maryland

An aerial view of a city.
Annapolis, Maryland. 

Maryland placed within the top 10 across all three major categories, placing eighth in emotional and physical well-being, fourth in work environment, and fifth in community and environment.

2. Hawaii

A bay at sunset.
Lanai, Hawaii. 

Hawaii’s emotional and physical well-being was ranked highest out of any other state, with the lowest rate of adult depression and the fourth-lowest divorce rate. It was also ranked the fifth-safest state. It placed 25th, however, in work environment and 30th in community and environment.

1. Utah

A rock arch illuminated by orange sunlight.
Arches National Park in Utah. 

WalletHub determined Utah was the happiest state in the US. It ranked No. 1 in both the work environment and community and environment categories, including the highest volunteer rate and lowest divorce rate of any state.