The Gallup Poll surveyed half a million Americans to find out where happy people reside.
The survey reveals some clear geographic trends: 13 out of the 15 lowest ranking states are clumped together in a single band that stretches across the central and southern states from Michigan to Louisiana.
Meanwhile, well-being scores soar just to the west. Those content neighbors join Hawaii, Alaska, and a few Northeast states as being among the healthiest.
While Gallup’s survey doesn’t attempt to explain why individuals feel the way they do, it does expose some commonalities among the lives of Americans. Respondents from the lowest ranked states were more likely to report worse physical and financial health: They were more likely to smoke, be obese, and have little interest in life. They also reported not having enough money to buy food or healthcare.