America’s Happiest States

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10. Montana
> Well-being index score: 68.0
> Life expectancy: 78.4 (24th lowest)
> Obesity: 23.0% (6th lowest)
> Median household income: $42,666 (11th lowest)
> Adult population with high school diploma or higher: 91.7% (3rd highest)

Residents of Montana are generally happy. They rate themselves among the highest in the nation in both Gallup’s life evaluation and emotional health categories. Montana has among the most educated adult populations in the country with 91.7% of residents aged 25 and older having at least a high school diploma. Residents of the state are also physically healthy. The state’s obesity rate of 23% is the sixth-lowest in the country. Montana also has the fifth-lowest rate of heart disease and the seventh-lowest rate of diabetes.

9. New Hampshire
> Well-being index score: 68.2
> Life expectancy: 79.7 (14th highest)
> Obesity: 25.0% (15th lowest)
> Median household income: $61,042 (7th highest)
> Adult population with high school diploma or higher: 91.5% (4th highest)

New Hampshire has high scores in the well-being categories related to physical health and healthy behavior — in each it ranks second. The state has plenty to be happy about besides health. New Hampshire is very wealthy, with the seventh-highest median household income in the country and the absolute lowest poverty rate. The state has the fourth-highest rate of adults with high school diplomas, the fourth-lowest unemployment rate, and the third-lowest rate of violent crimes.

8. Nebraska
> Well-being index score: 68.3
> Life expectancy: 79.2 (21st highest)
> Obesity: 26.9% (25th highest)
> Median household income: $48,408 (25th highest)
> Adult population with high school diploma or higher: 90.4% (9th highest)

Nebraska ranks among the top ten states for four of Gallup’s well-being categories: life evaluation, emotional health, physical health, and work environment. The state is doing relatively well economically speaking and currently has the second-lowest unemployment rate in the country at 4.1%. State residents are highly educated, as the state boasts the ninth-highest rate of adults with high school diplomas. The state also performs well in several health metrics, including having one of the country’s lowest rates of heart disease.

7. Kansas
> Well-being index score: 68.4
> Life expectancy: 78.4 (25th lowest)
> Obesity: 29.4 (15th highest)
> Median household income: $48,257 (25th lowest)
> Adult population with high school diploma or higher: 89.2% (17th highest)

Kansas stands out in the areas of emotional health, physical health, and, most of all, work environment, where resident place their state third-best in the country. Among metrics outside of the Gallup report that were considered by 24/7 Wall St., Kansas stood out the most in obesity, for which it has the country’s 15th-lowest rate, and in education, for which it ranks 17th-highest for adults with a high school diploma.

6. Colorado
> Well-being index score: 68.4
> Life expectancy: 79.9 (10th highest)
> Obesity: 21.0% (the lowest)
> Median household income: $54,046 (15th highest)
> Adult population with high school diploma or higher: 89.7% (15th highest)

Although Colorado ranks relatively well in all well-being categories, it stands out for physical health and healthy behavior. These rankings, which are based on the perceptions of state residents, largely reflect the reality illustrated by more objective metrics. Colorado has one of the longest life expectancies in the country. It has the lowest rate of obesity, at just 21%, and the lowest rates of both diabetes and heart disease. It also has the fourth-lowest rate of cancer in the nation.