Happy at sunset

It seems like Colorado has just about everything. People move to Colorado for the mountains, outdoor recreation, plentiful sunshine, thriving food and beverage scene, and the strong economy, but now it seems like Colorado has one more selling point, happiness.

Survey Ranks Colorado as 5th “Happiest” State

A recent study conducted by financial news site 24/7 Wall St pins Colorado at #5 when it comes to the “happiest” states in the union. Happiness may be subjective but the poll utilized a wide range of different factors to help make their rankings in happiness and well-being including income, obesity, poverty rates, teen pregnancy, crime, access to healthy food, college attainment rates and more.

Colorado’s low ranks in obesity and heart disease combined with high rates of exercise and healthy eating helped to vault Colorado into the top 5. According to the report, the states with the highest ranks of happiness include the westernmost state of Hawaii in the top spot followed by Alaska, South Dakota, and Maine.

West Virginia is the least happiest state in the union according to the survey, followed by Oklahoma, Kentucky, Indiana, and Arkansas. The overall well-being of the nation did improve in 2016 when compared to 2014 and 2015.

The poll continues to find close-ties between overall well-being and several factors. States that eat better and get out more like Colorado tend to jump up the list while states with poor health ratings and low college attainment such as West Virginia tend to find themselves perennially at the bottom of the rankings. The study found several correlations among the individual factors, for example, a state with a high college attainment rate also tends to be a state with positive socioeconomic outlooks.

About the 24/7 Wall Street Study

The “America’s Happiest (and Most Miserable) States” study was conducted by financial website 24/7 Wall St. and Gallup. The “well-being” poll surveyed 177,281 individuals across all 50 states. The poll used a number of different factors to rank wellness and happiness including health, socioeconomic factors, college attainment, and more. The poll also identifies less tangible patterns and factors in happier states including sense of purpose and cultivating close relationships.