Hawaii has topped the list as the happiest state in the U.S. for the seventh time in a row, according to the 2018 Gallup Health and Well-Being Index
that was released yesterday. The top-ranking states exemplify a larger trend within the annual ranking: states with natural beauty seem to rank higher than those that don’t have abundant nature and wildlife. Those natural beauty features even seem to be making up for some structural deficits, as some states in the American West and North prove.
Yet, poorer states are still found more often among the less happy
, with Southern and Midwestern states ranking in the bottom fifth. Southern states on the Atlantic, on the other hand, got a happiness boost and ranked higher.
The happiest metro areas were Naples, Fla., Barnstable Town, Mass. and Boulder, Colo. The Index considers career, social, financial, community and physical health metrics.