Get what you pay for? NJ one of the happiest states to live in
Sure, our property taxes are highest in the nation and our gas prices just went up — again. But New Jersey is one of the happiest states to live in America, according to a Wallethub survey.
Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with Wallethub, says to figure out where Americans are the happiest, Wallethub compared all states across 31 key indicators of happiness including emotional and physical well-being, work environment and community.
She says New Jersey is the 13th happiest state in the nation, sandwiched between Connecticut and New York. We do well in the emotional and physical well-being category.
New Jersey has the lowest suicide rate in America.
New Jersey has the second-lowest share of adult depression, about half of states like West Virginia, Kentucky and New Hampshire.
New Jersey has the third-lowest share of separation and divorce rates.
And we rank 18th on the list when it comes to safety.
But in order for New Jersey to crack the Top 10, Gonzalez said New Jersey needs to improve its work environment.
"Right now, New Jersey has the second-highest long-term unemployment rate in the country, about three times higher than the Dakotas, Nebraska, a lot of mid-western states," she said.
Income growth is the other area that needs improvement.
But Gonzalez said people in New Jersey are still happy despite the poor work environment. Having great school systems and great communities helps, she said.
It's no surprise that Hawaii is the happiest state in America, especially when it comes to physical and emotional well-being. Second is Utah, followed by Minnesota, North Dakota and California.
The least happiest state in the country is West Virginia and Gonzalez said a lot of that stems from physical health problems. Arkansas is the second-most depressing state followed by Louisiana, Alaska and Oklahoma.