Skip to main content

Happiest States of 2012: The List

Hamoa Beach in Maui. Fantasizing about your beach vacation may make you inclined to ignore the negative considerations while gathering information about it, research indicates.
Hamoa Beach in Maui, Hawaii. (Image credit: Maui Convention and Visitors Bureau)

A survey called the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index reveals which states are happiest. The index includes questions about six types of well-being, including overall evaluation of their lives, emotional health, physical health, healthy behaviors (such as whether a person smokes or exercises), and job satisfaction.

Read more about the well-being survey and what it means. And compare how your state has risen or fallen in the rankings by looking at last year's scores.

Here are the 50 U.S. states in order of their well-being scores in 2012, which are out of 100 points.

  1. Hawaii: 71.1
  2. Colorado: 69.7
  3. Minnesota: 68.9
  4. Utah: 68.8
  5. Vermont: 68.6
  6. Nebraska: 68.5
  7. Montana: 68.5
  8. New Hampshire: 68.4
  9. Iowa: 68.1
  10. Massachusetts: 68.1
  11. South Dakota: 68.0
  12.  Maryland: 68.0
  13. Wyoming: 67.9
  14. Washington: 67.7
  15. Virginia: 67.7
  16. Kansas: 67.7
  17. Connecticut: 67.6
  18. North Dakota: 67.4
  19. California: 67.4
  20. Wisconsin: 67.3
  21. Maine: 67.3
  22. Oregon: 67.1
  23. Idaho: 67.1
  24. Arizona: 67.1
  25. New Mexico: 66.7 (NOTE: New Mexico matches the nation's overall well-being score of 66.7)
  26. Texas: 66.6
  27. Illinois: 66.6
  28. Delaware: 66.6
  29. Pennsylvania: 66.5
  30. New York: 66.2
  31. New Jersey: 66.1
  32. Georgia: 66.1
  33. Alaska: 66.1
  34. Florida: 65.8
  35. North Carolina: 65.7
  36. Michigan: 65.6
  37. Rhode Island: 65.5
  38. Missouri: 65.5
  39. South Carolina: 65.2
  40. Oklahoma: 65.2
  41. Nevada: 65.2
  42. Indiana: 65.1
  43. Louisiana: 64.7
  44. Ohio: 64.6
  45. Alabama: 64.2
  46. Arkansas: 64.1
  47. Tennessee: 64.0
  48. Mississippi: 63.6
  49. Kentucky: 62.7
  50. West Virginia: 61.3
Live Science Staff
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.