Mon, Sep 26, 2022 11:32 AM
By Merrilee Gasser, The Center Square
Hawaii is the happiest state in the nation, according to a new report.
Personal finance website WalletHub weighed states based on 30 metrics to determine which residents enjoyed the best balance of good economic, emotional, physical, and social health.
The analysis drawn from previous research indicated to correlate with happiness, including career well-being, health, depression, adverse childhood experiences, adequate sleep, suicide rate, economic security, unemployment rate, divorce rate, and other factors.
Hawaii came in first place with a total score of just under 66%. It ranked first for emotional and physical well-being, seventh for community and environment, and 17th for work environment, the report said.
Emotional and physical well-being made up 50% of states' scores. Work environment accounted for 25%, and community & environment rounded out the last 25%.
Hawaii had the lowest share of adult depression, but it also had one of the worst rates for adequate sleep. The state was also among the five worst states for long-term unemployment rates.
"The COVID-19 pandemic was one of the biggest stressors during the past two years, but now rampant inflation is more of a threat to Americans' mental health. In fact, 87% of Americans are "anxious" or "very anxious" about inflation, according to a recent American Psychiatric Association poll," the report said.
Hawaii ranked fifth from the bottom for long-term unemployment. A recent report shows Hawaii's economic picture may be worsening. Inflation and high interest rates continue to impact Hawaii residents, and economists at the University of Hawaii Economic Research Organization expressed a pessimistic outlook for the state's economic future.
Hawaii's unemployment rate rose slightly to 4.1% in August, and job numbers have not yet recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
However, Hawaii's environment, community, and the emotional well-being of residents kept the state at the top of the list in terms of happiness. The divorce rate among Hawaii's residents is among the lowest in the nation.
Other states boasting some of the happiest residents include Maryland, Minnesota, Utah, and New Jersey. States that ranked last included Arkansas, Louisiana, and West Virginia.