Why Does Montana Rank 38th in Happiness This Year?
Many things can make us feel happy. Catching an early morning sunrise, hearing a baby giggle or smelling the breath of a new puppy as it licks you in the face will generally put a smile on even the crabbiest faces. Others might find happiness in a job, love, purpose or watching their children grow into healthy, productive adults. Some may cite their religious faith as a source of happiness and others might find happiness within or while enjoying their favorite pastime or hobby.
It can be difficult to put a finger on exactly what makes people feel happy, but the data digging crew at WalletHub.com just published results of their "2020's Happiest States in America" study and in Montana we honestly didn't rank great. According to their data, we're the 38th happiest state in 2020. Why so sad, Big Sky Country? Let's take a closer look at how WalletHub came to their conclusions from these main criteria,
To determine where Americans exhibit the best combination of these factors, we examined the 50 states across 32 key metrics, ranging from the depression rate and the positive COVID-19 testing rate to income growth and the unemployment rate.
Under the 'Emotional and Physical Well-Being' category we ranked 40th. However, we did great when it came to 'Work Environment', ranking 5th. Yay, work. Insert eye roll emoji here. Montana ranked 41st in the 'Community and Involvement' category.
Other notable information from their study revealed that Montanans seem to get a lot of sleep. We came in 5th for 'Highest Adequate Sleep' and we also did well in the 'Lowest Long-Term Unemployment" category during the COVID pandemic, at 5th place. Not so good on the study is our incredibly high suicide (3rd in the nation after Wyoming and New Mexico).
Happiness can certainly be elusive at times, and while most psychologists believe that money can't buy happiness, it certainly can't hurt when it comes to stressing about bills.