Montanans are in a relatively pleasant mood, according to a poll conducted by Gallup in partnership with Healthways and America’s Health Insurance Plans that ranked their state the 12th happiest in the country.
Much of the West scored high marks in the survey, with Utah No. 1 and Wyoming in third place. Hawaii took the second spot. And residents in the South were the least happy.
The rankings are based on 350,000 interviews where people were asked questions like: Did you smile or laugh a lot yesterday? Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your job or the work you do? Did you eat healthy all day yesterday? Do you feel safe walking alone at night in the city or area where you live?
The answers were then used to formulate the latest well-being index. Montana scored highest in healthy behavior, where it ranked third overall. But the Big Sky State was 25th in life evaluation.
The least happy state was West Virginia, followed by Kentucky and Mississippi.
Researchers hope the findings will help employers better understand what they can do to create more productive workers. Eventually, the data could even be used to compare health and happiness by ZIP code. The survey is going to be generated for 25 years, according to current plans.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
50. West Virginia
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