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.
- South Carolina
- Rhode Island
- New Jersey
- New York