Turns out, happiness is more than a state of mind. Apparently it can exist in a state, so avoid West Virginia if you want to be happy!
West Virginia ranks dead last in a state-by-state survey of well-being in the United States for 2013 by Gallup and Healthways. Rankings were based on a scale of 0-100 for six sub-indexes, including life evaluation, emotional health, work environment, physical health, healthy behaviors, and basic access, according to the National Journal.
West Virginia is virtually without peers in its sad state of affairs. It has ranked last in well-being since 2009. When the survey began in 2008, however, it was, well, second to last, beat out only by Mississippi.
It’s no wonder. Consider news headlines coming out of the state. An unnamed Pizza Hut manager was recently fired for, um, peeing in the kitchen sink, which is just sad and nasty. A recent chemical spill briefly shut down the water supply for 300,000 residents, which has caused residents to lose faith in government, W.V. Sen. Jay Rockefeller said recently.
The happiness factor isn’t better in the South, with Tennessee, Arkansas, Alabama and Mississippi, coming in just a little ahead of West Virginia, which is 94 percent White and 3.5 percent Black, according to 2012 U.S. Census data, the most recent numbers available.
Where is the best place to live? One of the Dakotas, of course, especially if you’re White. North Dakota is 90 percent White and 1.5 percent Black, while South Dakota is 86.2 percent White and 1.7 percent Black.
North Dakota, which boasts the nation’s lowest unemployment rate at just 2.6 percent, leads the country in happiness, beating out South Dakota. Both states routed 2012’s champion, Hawaii, to take the top spots for 2013. Hawaii, the tropical birthplace of President Barack Obama, is 26.1 percent White and 2.1 percent Black.
Well, at least somebody will be happy in West Virginia. A Powerball ticket worth $1 million was sold in the state ahead of Wednesday night’s drawing, reports Metro News. Yay!