STUDY: Louisiana and Arkansas ranked as some of the unhappiest states

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(9/20/18) A new study released by WalletHub says Louisiana and Arkansas are among the unhappiest states.

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” is one of the best-known phrases in the United States Declaration of Independence. We have Thomas Jefferson to thank for the phrase, which has gone on to play significant roles in court cases including 1967’s Loving v. Virginia in which the Supreme Court invalidated a Virginia law that prohibited the interracial marriage, noting the “freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.”

We may all be free to pursue happiness, but where we live in the U.S plays a deeper role in this quest than we may think, or so new research from WalletHub suggests. The personal finance site and app ranked 2018’s Happiest States in America, finding that some states are doing significantly better in this pursuit than others.

“We analyzed the 50 states across 31 metrics, which were chosen in conjunction with several academic experts,” says Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “The metrics were selected based on their relevance as well as availability of data. The most important metrics were the share of adult depression, suicide rates, number of work hours, job security and idealness of weather.”

The five happiest states based on these metrics are Hawaii, Utah, Minnesota, and North Dakota, with California coming in at No. 5. The bottom-ranking states are Oklahoma, Alaska, Louisiana, and Arkansas, with West Virginia slumping in at No. 50.

“There are some differences from last year’s results, like Hawaii moving up from third to first place this year, or North Dakota up from fourteenth to fourth this year,” says Gonzalez. “However, we do not encourage comparisons between reports from different years, as we have updated our methodology since then.”

To read the full article on NBC News, click here

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