Minnesota is the happiest state in the union.
So declares WalletHub, a consumer site that examined data on 28 quality of life issues, ranging from exercise and suicide rates to work hours and the environment. The Gopher State finished numero uno, besting Utah, Hawaii, California, and Nebraska, which don’t have the advantage of a nickname involving a cheerful rodent.
Minnesota won by scoring consistently high across the board. But it was among the nation’s leaders in some key, underrated categories crucial to joy.
We’re third best at volunteering and getting a good night's sleep. And our large Scandinavian population allows us to brood stoically while rarely talking about our feelings, which nobody really wants to hear. That's led to the fourth lowest divorce rate in the country.
This, in turn, has allowed Minnesota to also post the fourth lowest crime rates. Though we like to complain about a rising sense of mayhem, in truth the state's slightly more dangerous than a Chuck E. Cheese – with better pizza.
Minnesota would have finished even higher, but the study did not factor in our intrinsic elan, which makes us the life of any potluck or fish fry.
Not surprisingly, red southern states dominated the bottom of the happiness list, given their high intake of apocalyptic news that may or may not be tethered to reality, which leads them to lay on the couch, binge-watch Lifetime movies, and complain about the Mexican who'd probably steal their job, if they'd only get one.
The bottom 10 was rounded out by West Virginia, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Mississippi, Kentucky, Missouri, Tennessee, and Alaska.