A new study comparing self-described pleasant feelings with objective measures of good living found that people in such states generally have reason to be happy.
The places where people are most likely to report happiness also tend to rate high on studies comparing factors such as climate, crime rates, air quality and schools.
The happiness ratings were based on a survey of 1.3 million people across the country by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It used data collected over four years that included a question asking people how satisfied they are with their lives.
The happiest states were Louisiana, Hawaii, Florida, Tennessee, and Arizona. The least happy state was New York.
Of course, it could also be that those in southern states are enjoying some of the powerful mood-boosting effects of regular sun exposure … a key factor to health and happiness you can learn more about here.