It may not seem like it when you’re driving on the Parkway or Turnpike, but New Jerseyans are a pretty happy lot, at least according to a new survey.

The study, by pharmaceutical website, NiceRx, looked at categories including adults with serious mental illness, life expectancy, mean household income, homicides per 100,000 people, safety score, and poverty rate.

According to the site: These factors cover a range of different topics, from health and social affairs to economic matters. This provided us with a good overview of the different stresses and strains that people living in these states might experience.

Within those categories, the study’s authors compiled data from the CDC, the World Population Review, and Data USA.

New Jersey’s high score in mean household income ($114,691) helped boost our ranking, as well as strong scores in the other categories. The only states ranking higher in happiness are #1 Hawaii and #2 Connecticut. Mississippi was last, preceded by Louisiana and Arkansas.

The rest of the top ten happiest states: #4 Massachusetts, #5 Minnesota, #6 California, #7 Maryland, #8 New Hampshire, #9 New York, and #10 Washington.

The bottom states are #41 South Carolina, #42 New Mexico, #43 Kentucky, #44 Tennessee, #45 Oklahoma, #46 West Virginia, and #47 Alabama.

NiceRx also ranked countries by happiness and the US came in 16th, just behind Canada. The top three happiest countries are #1 Switzerland, #2 Denmark, and #3 Finland. The least happy countries (out of the 50 studied) are: India (#50), South Africa, Indonesia, Russia, and Brazil.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.

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