Utah was recently ranked No. 1 in WalletHub’s “2023 Happiest States in America” report. Adam McCann, WalletHub Financial Writer, said: “Even though people across the U.S. are facing difficult times, the state in which you live may have an impact on how happy you are. In this study, WalletHub drew upon the findings of ‘happiness’ research to determine which environmental factors are linked to a person’s overall well-being and satisfaction with life. Previous studies have found that good economic, emotional, physical and social health are all key to a well-balanced and fulfilled life.”
To determine where Americans exhibit the best combination of these factors, WalletHub editors examined the 50 states across 30 key metrics, ranging from the depression rate and the share of adults feeling productive to income growth and the unemployment rate.
Utah comes out on top for a number of reasons, including:
- Economy: Utah has a strong economy with low unemployment and a high median household income. This provides residents with financial security and stability, a big contributor to happiness.
- Low cost of living: Utah has a comparatively low cost of living. Residents have more disposable income to spend on things that make them happy, such as leisure activities and experiences.
- Community: Utah is known for its strong sense of community. Residents are often supportive of each other, and there is a strong sense of belonging. This leads to feelings of happiness and well-being.
- Beautiful natural surroundings: Utah is home to some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the US, including mountains, deserts, and lakes. Residents have easy access to outdoor recreation opportunities, which help boost happiness and mental health.
- Volunteering: Utah has some of the highest volunteer rates in the country. Residents are civic-minded and are often involved in their community. Volunteering can be a rewarding experience that leads to feelings of happiness and purpose.
Other factors that enhance Utah’s high happiness levels include strong family values. Utah is a predominantly religious state with a culture that emphasizes strong family values. This contributes to a sense of happiness and well-being among residents. Utah has some of the lowest crime rates in the country. This creates a safe and secure environment for residents. Utah has a generally mild climate, with warm summers and cool winters. This makes it a pleasant place to live and enjoy outdoor activities.