America Has a New 'Happiest' State

It's beautiful Alaska
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 19, 2015 6:58 AM CST
Callahan Dillon rides a final wave into Lena Beach after surfing in Juneau, Alaska, on Feb. 5, 2015.   (AP Photo/The Juneau Empire, Michael Penn)

(Newser) – Dark horse Alaska has come from behind to claim the title of the happiest state in the US, LiveScience reports. Snagging the designation from 2013 winner North Dakota, Alaska—which didn't even make the top 10 in 2013—topped Gallup's Well-Being Index in 2014 for the first time since tracking began in 2008. North Dakota crashed to the 23rd spot, while Hawaii, which has stayed in the top 10 every year, slid into second place. The top score, based on 176,000 interviews about health, finances, relationships, community, and purpose, fell from 70 out of 100 in 2013 to the mid-60s. Here's how other states fared:

  1. Alaska: 64.7
  2. Hawaii: 64.5
  3. South Dakota: 64.3
  4. Wyoming: 63.9
  5. Montana: 63.7

The unhappiest states:

  1. West Virginia: 59
  2. Kentucky: 59.8
  3. Indiana: 60
  4. Ohio: 60.1
  5. Mississippi: 60.2
Check out the full list or discover the world's happiest language.

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