Poll: Hawaii happiest state, W. Va. least

March 1, 2013 at 7:33 AM
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WASHINGTON, March 1 (UPI) -- Residents of Hawaii are the happiest in the United Sates for the fourth year in a row while those in West Virginia are the least happy, a Gallup poll indicates.

West Virginia has held its distinction of having the lowest well-being in the nation for the fourth consecutive year, a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being poll conducted between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012, said.

Rounding out the top five happiest states are Colorado, Minnesota, Utah and Vermont, and the five least happy states include Kentucky, Mississippi, Tennessee and Arkansas.

The rankings were determined based on interviews with more than 350,000 Americans asking questions about physical and emotional health, income, satisfaction with work environment and eating habits.

The information for each state was given scores with 100 indicating the highest level of well-being and 0 indicating the worst. Hawaii had a score of 71.1, West Virginia had a 61.3 and the United States had an overall score of 66.7.

Frank Newport, editor in chief of Gallup, said happy residents are more likely to contribute positively to their community, the Los Angeles Times reported Thursday.

"If your citizens have high well-being, they're more likely to be better citizens and engage in better behaviors and make things better all-around," he said.

The survey had a 1 percent to 2 percent overall margin of error. The margin of error was as high as 4 percent in states with smaller populations like Alaska.

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