Saturday, January 2, 2010

PA 41st Happiest State

The Christmas and New Year's holidays may be the time for cheer, but a new study says residents of most other states are sending out happier vibes than Pennsylvanians.
The Keystone State ranks near the bottom of a state-by-state happiness index put together by researchers at Hamilton College in New York and the University of Warwick in Great Britain. Pennsylvania ranks 41st – just below Maryland and above Rhode Island.
Hamilton economist Stephen Wu helped compile the data, and says some trends emerged.

"You do see that climate seems to play a role, and perhaps that’s not so surprising. And in addition, some of the more densely populated states tend to be ranked closer to the bottom. Ones that may have a higher cost of living, as well."

New York is the unhappiest state, while Louisiana is all smiles in the number one spot.
Wu says researchers sifted through four years of data on individuals assessing their own happiness levels, and then added in objective information like states’ climate, commuting times, population density and other factors.

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