Happiest U.S. States Pinned Down

A new study found that a person's self-reported happiness matches up with objective measures of state-level happiness.

The results are based on an examination of two data sets, one that included personal reports of happiness for 1.3 million Americans and the other that included objective measures, such as how crowded that state is, air quality, home prices and other factors known to impact quality of life.

Click here to learn more about the survey and what it means.

Here are the 50 U.S. states (and the District of Columbia) in order of their well-being:

   1. Louisiana    2. Hawaii    3. Florida    4. Tennessee    5. Arizona    6. Mississippi    7. Montana    8. South Carolina    9. Alabama   10. Maine   11. Alaska   12. North Carolina   13. Wyoming   14. Idaho   15. South Dakota   16. Texas   17. Arkansas   18. Vermont   19. Georgia   20. Oklahoma   21. Colorado   22. Delaware   23. Utah   24. New Mexico   25. North Dakota   26. Minnesota   27. New Hampshire   28. Virginia   29. Wisconsin   30. Oregon   31. Iowa   32. Kansas   33. Nebraska   34. West Virginia   35. Kentucky   36. Washington   37. District of Columbia   38. Missouri   39. Nevada   40. Maryland   41. Pennsylvania   42. Rhode Island   43. Massachusetts   44. Ohio   45. Illinois   46. California   47. Indiana   48. Michigan   49. New Jersey   50. Connecticut   51. New York

Jeanna Bryner
Live Science Editor-in-Chief

Jeanna served as editor-in-chief of Live Science. Previously, she was an assistant editor at Scholastic's Science World magazine. Jeanna has an English degree from Salisbury University, a master's degree in biogeochemistry and environmental sciences from the University of Maryland, and a graduate science journalism degree from New York University. She has worked as a biologist in Florida, where she monitored wetlands and did field surveys for endangered species. She also received an ocean sciences journalism fellowship from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.