WalletHub study shows West Virginia ranked 50, 2020’s Happiest States in America


CLARKSBURG, W.Va. – Happiness plays a big role in everyday life and comes from a combination of internal and external factors. Due to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, happiness can feel like it’s harder to find; as a result from the coronavirus causing sickness, limiting social interactions and leading to widespread job losses.

Recently, WalletHub conducted their annual study to determine 2020’s Happiest States in America. According to the study, West Virginia ranked 50, meaning it’s the least happiest state in 2020.

Source: WalletHub

WalletHub conducted research to determine which environmental factors are linked to a person’s overall well-being and satisfaction with life. They stated that previous studies have found that good economic, emotional, physical and social health are all key to a well-balanced and fulfilled life.

To determine the happiest states in America, WalletHub compared the 50 states across three key dimensions:

  1. Emotional and physical well-being
  2. Work environment
  3. Community and environment

WalletHub evaluated those dimensions using 32 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing maximum happiness.

Their analysis drew upon the findings of the following research, each of which has indicated a correlation between our data and happiness:

  • Happy People Live Longer: Subjective Well-Being Contributes to Health and Longevity (Chan and Diener, 2010)
  • Happiness from Ordinary and Extraordinary Experiences (Bhattacharjee and Mogilner, 2014)
  • Sports Participation and Happiness: Evidence from U.S. Micro Data (Huang and Humphreys, 2010)
  • Unhappy Cities (Glaeser, et al., 2014)

Emotional & Physical Well-Being – Total Points: 50

  • WalletHub “States with the Fewest Coronavirus Restrictions” Score: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
  • Positive COVID-19 Testing Rate of Last 4 Weeks: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
  • Career Well-Being: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
  • Physical Health Index: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences: Full Weight (~2.22 Points
  • Share of Adult Depression: Triple Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Social Well-Being: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
  • Share of Adults with Alcohol Use Disorder: Double Weight (~4.44 Points)
  • Adequate-Sleep Rate: Half Weight (~1.11 Points)
  • Sports-Participation Rate: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
  • Share of Adults Feeling Active & Productive: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)
  • Illness & Disability Index: Triple Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Life Expectancy: Double Weight (~4.44 Points)
  • Suicide Rate: Triple Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Food-Insecurity Rate: Full Weight (~2.22 Points)

Work Environment – Total Points: 25

  • Number of Work Hours: Double Weight (~5.00 Points)
  • Commute Time: Half Weight (~1.25 Points)
  • Share of Households Earning Annual Incomes Above $75,000: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Share of Adults Worried About Money: Half Weight (~1.25 Points)
  • Current Unemployment Rate: Half Weight (~1.25 Points)
  • Long-Term Unemployment Rate: Half Weight (~1.25 Points)
  • Underemployment Rate: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Job Security: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Job Satisfaction Score: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Income-Growth Rate: Half Weight (~1.25 Points)
  • Economic-Confidence Index: Full Weight (~2.50 Points)
  • Median Credit Score: Half Weight (~1.25 Points)

Community & Environment – Total Points: 25

  • Volunteer Rate: Half Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Ideal Weather: Triple Weight (~10.00 Points)
  • Average Leisure Time Spent per Day: Double Weight (~6.67 Points)
  • Separation & Divorce Rate: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Safety: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)

To view the full study, visit the WalletHub website.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Link to 12 things you need to know page

WBOY 12 News Facebook Page

Trending Stories