Utah is the happiest state in America.
So says a study by the personal finance website WalletHub.com, which examined all 50 states across 31 metrics, including depression rates, physical health, COVID-19 positivity rates, alcoholism rates, income growth, unemployment, volunteer rates, weather, leisure time, life expectancy and food insecurity rates.
Utah moved up a spot after coming in as the second-happiest state in both 2019 and 2020. This year’s study comes at a time when 4 in 10 American adults have reported symptoms of anxiety or depression during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The least happy state is home to one of the schools that Brigham Young University will soon be joining in the Big 12 Conference — West Virginia. (The study does not account for the difference in happiness between BYU fans and University of Utah fans this week after the Cougars snapped a nine-game losing streak against their rivals and beat the Utes on the football field Saturday.)
Utah finished first in three subcategories and near the top in several others:
Number of hours worked • First.
Volunteer rate • First.
Separation and divorce rate • First.
Sports participation rate • First (tied with Colorado and Montana).
Safety • Fourth.
Adequate sleep rate • Sixth
Long-term unemployment rate • Sixth.
Income growth • Eighth.
COVID-19 positivity per capita • 27th
Here’s the list of U.S. states, from happiest to least happy:
5. North Dakota
6. South Dakota
9. New Jersey
11. Connecticut; 12. Vermont; 13. Washington; 14. Nebraska; 15. Iowa; 16. Wisconsin; 17. Virginia; 18. New York; 19. New Hampshire; 20. Maine; 21. Rhode Island; 22. Colorado; 23. Nevada; 24. Pennsylvania; 25. Illinois; 26. Delaware; 27. Arizona; 28. North Carolina; 29. Missouri; 30. Michigan.
31. Kansas; 32. Montana; 33. Oregon; 34. Florida; 35. Georgia; 36. South Carolina; 37. Indiana; 38. Texas; 39. Ohio; 40. Wyoming. 41. New Mexico; 42. Alaska; 43. Alabama; 44. Tennessee; 45. Kentucky; 46. Oklahoma; 47. Mississippi; 48. Louisiana; 49. Arkansas; 50. West Virginia.