September 14

Alabama Ranks Low on Happiness


Happiness is more than a feeling of joy or excitement. It relies on various aspects of a person’s life — from emotional well-being to job satisfaction.

Are you happy? According to a new study from WalletHub, Alabamians may answer no. The state is ranked 47th in the nation for overall happiness.

The study took a look at things like depression rates, sports participation, and income growth.

The total overall score given to Alabama was 36.60. The state was ranked 47th for ’emotional & physical well-being.’ 43rd for ‘work environment,’ and 42nd in ‘community & environment.’ The state also ranked pretty terrible in adequate sleep; 46th.

All of this was determined based on analysis of “happiness” research.

Minnesota, Utah, Hawaii, California, and Nebraska topped the list for happiest states in America. The other states that round out the bottom of the list: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and West Virginia.

Three key dimensions were used to compare and determine the happiest states in America namely: 1) Emotional & Physical Well-Being, 2) Work Environment and 3) Community & Environment.


The studies evaluated those dimensions using 28 relevant metrics with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing maximum happiness.

Finally, they determined each state’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its total score and used the resulting scores to rank-order their sample.

Their analysis draws 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)

Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Council for Community and Economic Research, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Feeding America, Corporation for National and Community Service, Gallup-Healthways, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, United Health Foundation, Brandwatch, TransUnion, Minnesota Population Center – University of Minnesota and WalletHub research.

Based on my personal experiences though, I find that there are three components to happiness, 1-health, 2-relationship, and 3-job. If you got it all, then you’re a winner. We remain on the positive side of happy with any 2 of 3, and we are at the end of our rope when we have none. Still, at the end of the day, happiness is a choice we all make.

H/T: WalletHub


Alabama, happiness index

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