Skip to main content

Hawaiians Top Happiness Survey (Infographic)

West Virginians rank lowest in the nation in the annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.
West Virginians rank lowest in the nation in the annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. (Image credit: Ross Toro, LiveScience Contributor)

The Aloha State seems to be having all the fun! And that's for a third year in a row, according to the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index.

The 2011 telephone survey was carried out between Jan. 2 and Dec. 29, 2011 and included a random sample of 353,492 adults, ages 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. To understand state well-being, Gallup relied on six measures: life evaluation (self-evaluation about your present life situation and anticipated one in five years); emotional health; work environment (such as job satisfaction); physical health; healthy behavior; and basic access (access to health care, a doctor, a safe place to exercise and walk, and community satisfaction).

Results showed that Hawaiians were the most likely to say they smiled or laughed a lot "yesterday," and the least likely residents to report daily worry or stress, or depression. The state also snagged the distinction of the nation's healthiest behaviors due to their good eating and exercise habits and lower smoking rates, according to Gallup. [The Happiest US States Revealed in New Poll]

Overall Western and Midwestern U.S. states fared well on the happiness index, accounting for nine of the slots on the top 10 happiest states' list, with Southern states sliding into half of the bottom 10 states.

For the science geek in everyone, Live Science offers a fascinating window into the natural and technological world, delivering comprehensive and compelling news and analysis on everything from dinosaur discoveries, archaeological finds and amazing animals to health, innovation and wearable technology. We aim to empower and inspire our readers with the tools needed to understand the world and appreciate its everyday awe.