A recent study by financial services website WalletHub found that a significant number of states are considered unhappiest, and the reasons behind these findings can be varied. The research was based on 31 metrics that included the states’ work environment, emotional and physical well-being, and community and environmental factors.
Alaska ranks very low for both community and environment, which makes sense considering the state’s vast wilderness surrounded by harsh climates. It also has a grueling work environment, as many Alaskans spend long hours on their jobs.
Oklahoma, a rural and agricultural state, is also among the unhappiest states. The poor work environment and high divorce rates contribute to its low happiness score.
Kansas, a landlocked state with a rich agricultural history, is another unhappy Midwestern state that scored lower than the national average on both emotional and physical well-being and work environment. Its economy is struggling too, so it makes sense why the state’s residents aren’t as happy as they could be.
Missouri, a Rust Belt state, also scores low on both emotional and physical well-being and its work environment. Its poor economy and low income growth make it difficult for workers to find gainful employment, which can lead to a feeling of unhappiness.
Tennessee, the country music capital of Nashville and a popular tourist destination, is another Southern state that ranks low for both emotional and physical well-being and work conditions. Its population is largely rural and it doesn’t have the strong sense of community that other Southern states do.