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The Happiness Index: The Top 10 Happiest States in the US



In a country as diverse as the United States of America, happiness is as vague and subjective as we all think it is. From spectacular views and hospitable communities where camaraderie flourishes to the fulfillment of everyone’s American dream, here are the top 10 states in America where happiness resides the most! Emotional and physical well-being, work environment, and community and environment are the top 3 things to consider when measuring happiness. While America is no stranger to giving people what they most desire, these 10 states radiate happiness more than anywhere else!



Does it come as a surprise that Hawaii landed at the top of our list? This happy island nestled in the heart of the Pacific Ocean flourishes with great natural views that bring healing to its people, a hospitable community that accepts almost everyone, and a vibrant culture that changes that view of the people for the better. Hawaii has the second-lowest share of adult depression of any state. Honestly, does that even come as a surprise? As Hawaiian residents enjoy more days of sunshine, their daily activities, which are mostly outdoors and interactive, benefit them with healthy bodies and longer lifespans, which is why Hawaii has the longest average lifespan in the US. Hawaii’s focus on holistic wellbeing and the continuation of its culture contributes to its happiness ranking. Visit America’s blissful Pacific paradise and experience happiness firsthand!



A strong sense of community, great outdoor recreation, and the fewest work hours in all of America are the reasons why Utah holds second place in the top 10 happiest states in the US. Additionally, Utah is also known as the fourth safest state. Utah’s close-knit community creates a sense of belongingness and unity that no other state could match. Utahans’ lifestyle keeps them mentally and physically healthy, with abundant adventurous and predictable yet safe environments to thrive in. With a vibrant and fulfilling environment to participate in, it’s no wonder Utah is the second best for happiness.



Minnesota is the third safest state in the country. Need I say more? The land of 10,000 lakes provides an equal amount of city and greenery, allowing its residents to flourish mentally and physically throughout the year. Minnesota is yet another state with a close-knit community caring for nature and each other as if they were their own. This state maintains its status as having the friendliest and most-inclusive people in the country, making lives incredibly better for Minnesotans and migrants, and tourists alike. Their commitment to education, healthcare, and work-life balance allows the Minnesotan communities to have a high quality of life. Despite its intense winters, Minnesota has one of the warmest communities ever!

New Jersey


The Garden State offers an abundance of environments for its communities to thrive in. New Jersey is best known for its inclusive community, coastal getaways, and bustling city, which enabled them to rank second for emotional and physical well-being. Likewise, New Jersey also has the lowest adult depression rate, lowest suicide rate, and the third-lowest divorce rate. Although landing the second spot with the highest long-term unemployment rate, New Jersey makes up for their cultural heritage, captivating arts scene, amazing cuisine, and more. Not everyone can have it all, as they say, but despite its shortcomings, New Jersey can undeniably put that smile on anyone’s face.



The picturesque Chesapeake Bay and the jaw-dropping Appalachian Mountains aren’t the only ones putting a twinkle in everyone’s eyes and a smile on their faces in Maryland. Maryland’s harmonious blend of fascinating history, thriving communities, and natural beauty allows its residents to engage in many activities that result in their overall well-being. That is probably one of the reasons why this state has the country’s fifth lowest suicide rate and second for emotional and physical well-being. Maryland’s strong foundation for personal growth and fulfillment has not only put smiles on Marylanders’ faces but also created a sense of belongingness.



Yet another sunny state landed in our top 10 list of happiest states in the US. California ranks seventh for emotional and physical well-being and has the fourth lowest adult depression rate. California’s world-class cuisine, picturesque views, diverse communities, and sun-soaked beaches aren’t only what makes Californians happy. The Golden State also ranks as the fifth fewest work hours in all of America, allowing its people to have a work-life balance like no other. For Californians and tourists alike, this thriving community makes their experiences and everyday life worthwhile. Doesn’t the sunny weather make everything a thousand times better?

North Dakota


Vast plains, rural landscapes, and urban scenes aren’t what North Dakota is only known for. The seventh-happiest state in America ranks third for the work environment, first for the lowest long-term unemployment rate, and also has the second lowest divorce rate in all of the US. North Dakota’s low population density allows its citizens to have a closer-knit community where everyone treats each other more like family than just friends. Additionally, North Dakota is yet another state that provides its citizens with lush nature selections where they can enrich their physical and mental well beings. Although they have the second highest work hours of any state, North Dakota makes up for it by promoting financial stability, security, and stable employment.



Iowa is best known as the Food Capital of the World. Their rolling farmlands and welcoming community brought them to where they are today. As the eighth happiest state in America, Iowa ranks sixth for the work environment, third in the lowest long-term unemployment rate, and fourth highest volunteer rate. Iowa’s affordable cost of living, quality education, and healthcare enhances and enriches the lives of its residents, in turn making them happier, healthier, and more secure than ever. Additionally, Iowa also has the highest literacy rate in the country. Not only do they have brains, but they also have breathtaking beauty, both in nature and its residents.



Potatoes are what first comes to mind when we think of Idaho. However, I bet you also know that Idaho is the Gem State, providing us with all the beautiful gems nature and time could ever create. Idaho ranks as the ninth happiest state in the US because of its thriving and enriching work environment and communities, and they also rank as having the sixth-best adequate sleep rate. Better sleep equates to better moods, making Idaho residents happy, contented, and more than satisfied. Idaho’s unspoiled rugged landscapes make it a great eye candy for Idahoans and tourists alike, providing them with a tranquil environment and a serene experience. Now that’s what being happy is all about!



Connecticut serves as the home of the first-ever Thanksgiving celebration. It is autumn, as autumn can be! Now who isn’t happy when the fall season kicks in? In addition, Connecticut is the tenth happiest state in all of America because of its fifth place for emotional and physical well-being. Connecticut’s historic buildings, amazing natural sceneries, museums, and even people make this state one of the best. Not to mention that Connecticut is one of the safest states to be in, with a crime rate that’s the sixth lowest in the country. Despite being last in the top 10 happiest states in the US, Connecticut’s rich culture will make you feel like you’re on top of the world.

Happiness is diverse. It’s not only confined to material things, a certain achievement, or a stage in life. From Hawaii to Connecticut, it is obvious that close-knit communities, natural resources, tranquil surroundings, rich cultures, and even the weather can all contribute to the happiness a person can feel, embody, and even share. Whether you’re looking for happiness in the Pacific paradise, midwest, or sunny state, each happy state brings a unique experience that will enrich your life in more ways than one.

Bea Marie is a communication graduate from the Philippines, currently navigating adulthood with her feline friend. She works as a content writer by day, and you'll find her nose buried in books that strike her fancy by night. Embracing stoicism, she seeks tranquility and balance amid life's challenges. Balancing work and hobbies, Bea Marie seeks to live a fulfilling life by opening herself to learning more and enjoying her time with her feline, friends, and family.