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Are you living in one of the happiest states in the U.S.?

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Map of the United States courtesy of everystockphoto.com

The votes are in, and researchers have created a list of the happiest state down to the well...not so happiest state.

Most of us have often heard of the pleasant hospitality that comes with living in the south, and maybe there's a reason for that.  According to the newest study of state-level happiness, Louisiana claims the #1 spot as the happiest state in the U.S.  Of course they make it a point to explain that the data was completed before the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, but even so the majority of the happiest states are from the south.  The data was compiled from two major factors:  the personal state of well-being, and an objective measure of things that affect the state of well-being such as weather and cost of living.  Andrew Oswald, from the University of Warwick in England, states "We wanted to study whether people's feelings of satisfaction with their own lives are reliable, that is, whether they match up to reality -of sunshine hours, congestion, air quality, etc.- in their own state."  When it was all said and done, the results matched up!  What came as a surprise however, were some of the states that finished in the bottom half, especially New York which finished dead last.  "We were struck by the states that came at the bottom, because a lot of them are on the East Coast, highly prosperous and industrialized." says Oswald. " That's another way of saying they have a lot of congestion, high house prices, and bad air quality."  Maybe another factor to consider is that old saying "Money isn't everything"?  Just a thought....

To sum things up: If you're miserable in Michigan, maybe it's time to trade in those ski goggles for sunglasses and hit the beaches in Florida. 

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