Illinois Isn’t A Very Happy Place To Live; Move To Utah, Recent Study Says

CHICAGO (CBS) — If you want to be a really happy person, you may want to reconsider where you call “home.”

A recent study from an annual Gallup-Healthways poll measuring global well-being, says the happiest people in the U.S. live in Utah. And that’s not just based on income. The study took into account physical health, personal purpose and social connectivity.

Illinois ranked 25, dead in the middle, while Indiana was closer to the bottom at No. 40.

Overall, the five happiest states were:

  • Utah
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • Hawaii
  • Colorado

The five least-happy states were:

  • Arkansas
  • Mississippi
  • Kentucky
  • Alabama
  • West Virginia

Personal finance website WalletHub analyzed the data and ranked them as its 2016’s Happiest States in America, across three main areas: emotional and physical well-being, work environment and community and environment. Analysts evaluated the three main categories using 28 metrics, which included satisfaction, depression, physical health, adequate sleep, illness and disability, income level, the long-term unemployment rate, the weather, and the divorce rate.

Illinois ranked 48th in the highest long-term unemployment rate category, while the state was 41st in the overall work environment rank.

But what are the keys to a happy life? While many, including the metrics presented, support the concept that money makes you happy, Scott Cloutler, an assistant professor in the School of Sustainability at Arizona State University, says it’s intrinsic. “The key ingredient to a happy life is within us — our mindset. Happiness comes from the ways in which we interpret the world and interact with it,” he said.

Cloutler consulted with WalletHub on the rankings, along with Pamela Rutledge, the director of the Media Psychology Research Center. She says, “The key ingredient to a happy life is the ability to make meaning out of one’s circumstances. The foundation to this ability comes from satisfying core human motivations: social connection, feeling that you have some control over your life and sense of your own competence or ability to take action.”

View the full study at WalletHub’s website. 

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