2020 hasn't been the year for happiness by any means. However, Wallethub has done some research to find which states people are more likely to stay positive despite all the circumstances of 2020. According to previous studies, good economic, emotional, physical, and social health are the key factors to a well balanced and fulfilled life. Researchers drew up on these and other environmental happiness factors to examine 50 states across 32 key metrics. Examples of these metrics range from a state's depression rate and the positive COVID-19 testing rate to income growth and the unemployment rate. 

Here's the top 10 list:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Utah
  3. Minnesota
  4. New Jersey
  5. Maryland
  6. California
  7. North Dakota
  8. Iowa
  9. Idaho
  10. Connecticut

Are you surprised to see Idaho ranking in the top 10?! I was considering that Idaho has one of the highest suicides rate in the country. The state ranks 34th for physically well-being too. However, Idaho does come in second in the "community and environment" as well as in the "work environment" categories. I guess it all balances itself out though making Idaho the 9th happiest state in the U.S.!

Source: WalletHub

How much does where you live really influence your happiness? According to Julie K. Norem, Ph.D, "living in places that promote being outdoors, with unpolluted air and water, access to healthy, palatable food, easy transportation options, and accessible health care makes it a lot easier to be happy. One of the strongest contributors to happiness, across all kinds of living conditions, is feeling part of/connected to your community. So people who are active in, feel connected to and are valued by their community tend to be happiest."

One's happiness isn't entirely dependent on this though. Cort W. Rudolph, Ph.D., reminds us that "with any psychological variable like happiness, there is a wide diversity of individual differences that have to be accounted for to understand their nature and effects."