Have you been feeling unhappy this winter? Well, if you live in Rhode Island, it’s not entirely surprising. According to the latest Well-Being Index statistics from Gallup-Healthways, Rhode Island is the 37th happiest state in the country.
In addition to being in the 4th quintile overall, the Ocean State ranked last in New England. In fact, all other New England states ranked in the top 25.
Coming in at #13, Gallup-Healthways ranked Vermont the happiest state in the region. Massachusetts (#17), New Hampshire (#21), and Connecticut (#24) also finished considerably higher than Rhode Island.
Why are we so unhappy?
The study evaluated happiness based on five elements: social, purpose, community, financial, and physical. Rhode Island finished near the bottom in three of the five categories.
Rhode Island ranked last in the country in the social well-being, which is defined as “having supportive relationships and love in your life” and finished #49 in purpose well-being (i.e. liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals).
Additionally, the state ranked #45 in community well-being—a factor that examines liking where you live and having pride in your community. Fiscally speaking, Rhode Islanders were slightly more content coming in at #27 in financial well-being. Rhode Island received its highest ranking (#14) for its physical well-being.
The winners and losers
As for the happiest state in the nation, Alaska topped the list for the first time ever since Gallup-Healthways began the study in 2008. Last year’s winner Hawaii finished second, while South Dakota, Wyoming, and Montana rounded out the top five.
The title of unhappiest state in the country went to West Virginia, which narrowly edged out its southwestern neighbor Kentucky. The two states have finished #50 and #49 for six straight years. Indiana, Ohio, and Mississippi were also unlucky enough to be included in the bottom five.
The data was based on 176,702 interviews with U.S. adults across all 50 states, conducted from January 2 to December 30, 2014. Gallup conducted 500 telephone interviews a day with American adults, for a resulting sample that projects to an estimated 95 percent of all U.S. adults.
For the complete ranking of all 50 states, click here.
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