Researchers polled more than 177,000 people in all fifty states about their levels of happiness, and the results are in:
Hawaii reclaimed its spot at the state with the highest well-being in the nation in 2015, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, for the fifth time since the poll began in 2008.
The Aloha State bumped Alaska, the happiest state in 2014, to number two. Montana, Colorado, and Wyoming rounded out the top five.
Meanwhile, West Virginia squeaked in as the unhappiest state for the seventh consecutive year, followed by Kentucky. These states have had the lowest and second lowest well-being in the country, respectively, for seven years in a row.
The rankings were based on five different measures of well-being: purpose, social, financial, community, and physical.
Delaware residents reported the highest ratings of purpose. South Carolinians rated themselves the most social. Alaskans felt they were the most financially stable. Montana residents reported the best community. And people from Hawaii reported the most physical satisfaction, and ranked in the top ten states for community, purpose, and financial well-being.
On the other hand, West Virginia ranked last in four out of five categories of well-being (purpose, social, community and physical), while Mississippi ranked last in financial well-being.
On the whole, Americans rated their lives as better in 2015 than in any previous year, overturning the record set in 2014. The happiest states were located in the northern plains and mountain west, while the unhappiest states were in the south and industrial Midwest.
Here's the complete ranking:
Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index 2015