Virginia ranks as the 14th happiest state in the nation

Why are residents of the commonwealth so happy compared to the rest of the country?

Photo by Jason Leung

Are Americans happy? Well, it depends on who you ask, and it depends on where they live. The nation ranked No. 19 on this year’s World Happiness Report, dropping a spot from the previous edition.

WalletHub, a personal-finance website known for ranking states across a multitude of topics, released its own happiness rankings today, breaking down America’s happiness state by state. To determine the rankings, it compared the states across 31 key indicators of happiness, ranking from emotional health to income level.

Virginia came in at No. 14, scoring high for emotional and physical well-being, as well as work environment, community safety and a high share of households earning annual incomes above $75,000. It’s important to note that research shows happiness only increases with wealth up to an annual income of $75,000 to $95,000.

Other key factors that determined the states’ rankings included social well-being; share of adult depression; adequate sleep; life expectancy; suicide rates; food insecurity rates; average number of work hours; average leisure time spent per day; ideal weather; and more. 
For more information on how the study was compiled, or to see the rankings, visit wallethub.com/edu/happiest-states/6959.

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