This Is the Happiest State in the U.S., According to a New Report

Person rowing a long boat on the coast in Hawaii
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Rob Rulison/Getty Images

Happiness may indeed come in waves. Make that turquoise, rolling Hawaiian waves because, according to a new report, the Aloha State is home to the happiest people in the country.

In its latest survey, WalletHub looked at three key categories and found Hawaii residents reported the best emotional and physical well-being, measured by metrics such as adult depression rates, adequate sleep rates, and life expectancy and suicide rates. Hawaii has the lowest percentage of adult depression in the country — 12.9 percent, which is 2.1 times lower than West Virginia, the state with the highest percentage. Hawaii residents also have low divorce rates and high life expectancy.

In the other two main categories of the survey — work environment and community environment — Hawaii ranked 17th and seventh, respectively.

Maryland takes the silver medal with one of the lowest suicide rates nationwide, and Minnesota came in third. The North Star State ranked particularly well — second overall after Utah — in the work environment category. Safety, adequate sleep, and volunteer rates were also among the metrics, where Minnesota outperformed the other 49 states.

WalletHub also found that Utah had the highest volunteer rate, with twice as many respondents saying they engaged in volunteer work than in New York. The Beehive State registers the lowest separation and divorce rate.

"Well-being researchers have identified several 'ingredients' that make up a happy and fulfilling life: positive emotions, meaningful social relationships, and having a sense of purpose in life, to name just a few," Emily C. Willroth, Ph.D., assistant professor at Washington University in St. Louis, said in a statement released to Travel + Leisure.

WalletHub's full methodology compared how residents of the 50 states responded on 30 key indicators of happiness. You can read the full report and see your state's ranking here.

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