Least Happy State: New York
Enough already with those Hawaiian jerks and their 'sunshine'
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 18, 2009 11:54 AM CST
Hawaii, seen here being enjoyed by Barack Obama and his daughters, is probably the happiest state. Unfortunately, the Obamas now reside in DC, No. 37 on the list.   (AP Photo/Marco Garcia, File)
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(Newser) – New Yorkers are the least happy Americans, according to a new study. Researchers compared residents’ self-reported happiness with “objective” measures of wellbeing, like sunshine, congestion, and air quality—and found, to their apparent surprise, that the two matched up. The states with the highest reported happiness, including sunny places like Hawaii and Florida, also ranked highest on the objective test.

The list flatly contradicts another such ranking last month, which found tolerant and wealthy states the happiest. The new study’s researchers tell LiveScience their methods, which involve models of “representative Americans,” are more advanced. Here are the top and bottom 10, but take Louisiana’s No. 1 ranking with a grain of salt, because the data was collected pre-Katrina; the other data is from 2005-2008.

  1. Louisiana
  2. Hawaii
  3. Florida
  4. Tennessee
  5. Arizona
  6. Mississippi
  7. Montana
  8. South Carolina
  9. Alabama
  10. Maine

  1. Rhode Island
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Ohio
  4. Illinois
  5. California
  6. Indiana
  7. Michigan
  8. New Jersey
  9. Connecticut
  10. New York