Girls’ night out, layered cookie cakes, completely crushing a great workout — there are plenty of things in life that make us happy. I mean, have you ever gone to a Beyoncé-themed party and not had a great time? While the place where you live might not be the first thing you consider when thinking about how happy you are, a new report from Gallup and Healthways is shedding some serious light on which regions have the highest level of well-being. Scroll down to find out who comes on top!


To determine their 2016 State Well-Being Rankings, Gallup and Healthways looked at five key elements of well-being:

  • Purpose: Liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
  • Social: Having supportive relationships and love in your life
  • Financial: Managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
  • Community: Liking where you live, feeling safe, and having pride in your community
  • Physical: Having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

Securing first place with an impressive 65.2, Hawaii blew the competition out of the water with the highest rating any state has scored in three years! The Aloha State can credit high marks in physical, financial, and community well-being for putting them on top. Alaska, South Dakota, Maine, and Colorado rounded out the top five.

Not all trends for 2016 were positive, though. The study found that some chronic conditions — like diabetes and depression — were at their highest point since 2008, and the number of Americans who report eating healthy daily was at a nine-year low.

The nation’s lowest-scoring state, West Virginia, clocked in at a measly 58.9, following the trend researchers found of states in the South and Midwest consistently lagging in key elements of happiness. West Virginia and Kentucky have passed the bottom slot back and forth for the past eight years.

But overall, 2016 was looking good! The nation’s average well-being score for last year was 62.1 — higher than the average in either 2014 or 2015. The 2016 results also showed historically low smoking rates, high physical exercise rates, and the highest scores recorded on health care access measures, including the greatest number of Americans covered by health insurance and visiting the dentist.

Do you think your state’s ranking is realistic? Tweet us @BritandCo!

(Photos via Getty)