Not Nevada. Not even close. Despite some horrible circumstances that might exist in our daily lives, people determine their own happiness. But how content we are with life is not only and always a matter of perspective. And it’s certainly not about beauty, power or wealth — at least, not beyond an annual income of $75,000. Where we choose to live can also influence our level of happiness.
In this study, WalletHub’s analysts drew upon the findings of “happiness” research to determine which environmental factors are linked to a person’s overall well-being and satisfaction with life. Previous studies have found that good economic, emotional, physical and social health are all key to a well-balanced and fulfilled life.
To determine where Americans exhibit the best combination of these factors, we examined the 50 states across 28 key metrics, ranging from depression rate to sports participation rate to income growth. Read on for our findings, additional insight from a panel of experts and a full description of our methodology.
So what led to Nevada’s overall 37th ranking in this study? Well, a lack of sleep plays a big role in our mood and well-being. Las Vegas is and likely always will be a three shift town or one where there is a good portion of the population on graveyard. Sports participation also factored into Nevada’s lower score for obvious reasons. But that’s about to change, isn’t it. Depression and work hours all had weight on this study, as did divorce. In 2011, Nevada’s divorce rate was 12% compared to the 9% national average. By 2014, the Silver State dropped to 5%. Although divorce is much lower nationwide that’s its been in the recent past, Nevada now ranks number three in the nation for divorce. Use the interactive map below to see how all 50 states ranked.