South Florida

A recent survey just ranked the happiest states in America. So how did Florida do?

Key Biscayne, Florida, beach
Key Biscayne, Florida, beach

Florida has Disney World, beaches galore and warm, sunny weather almost all year long.

But residents aren’t all that content, according to a study by WalletHub released Monday.

The southernmost state didn’t even crack the top 20 in the personal finance website’s report on 2018’s Happiest States in America.

To determine where Americans have the highest satisfaction, WalletHub compared the 50 states across 31 key indicators of happiness, from emotional health and income level to sports-participation rate.

Source: WalletHub

“Happiness comes from a combination of internal and external factors,” read the report. “We can influence it somewhat by approaching situations positively or choosing to spend time with people we love, doing activities we enjoy.”

The happiest state? Basking in the No. 1 slot is another sunny, warm place: Hawaii.

Utah, which has the highest volunteer rate in the nation, at 39.29 percent, came in at the No. 2 spot.

Incidentally, Florida (at No. 29 on the list) had the lowest volunteer rate, at 18.31 percent. The study also cites our safety problems, high divorce rates and unemployment issues, among other factors.

WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez explained Florida’s not too hot ranking to the Miami Herald.

“This was partly due to its work environment,” she said. “The state has one of the highest long-term unemployment rates, at 40.2 percent, a low job satisfaction score, and one of the lowest income growth rates, at 2.24 percent. Florida’s community and environment did not fare well among the other states. Its volunteer rate is 18.31 percent, the lowest in the country. The state also has one of the highest separation and divorce rates, at 25.09 percent.” (The long-term unemployment rate shows what percentage of all unemployed people have been jobless for 27 weeks or longer.)

Surprisingly, weather doesn’t seem to be at play in determining your happiness, either.

Taking the No. 3 spot in the study was Minnesota., where average temperatures in the height of winter (January), was 23.7 degrees (high) and 7.5 degrees (low).

Don’t feel too badly, though, about choosing to call Florida home. Coming in dead last, at No. 50, was the state of West Virginia.

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