Utah Ranks Among the Happiest States in America

Happiness is one of life’s immeasurables. It’s unrealistic to try to put a number to someone’s level of contentedness, or to definitively say one person is happier than another. But we’re humans, living in an era obsessed with metrics and rankings, so we’re going to do the unreasonable.

As it turns out, regardless of who is compiling the data or what methodology is used, Utah rates as one of the happiest places in the United States.  

In September 2018, the personal finance website WalletHub released their annual rankings of the happiest states in the Union. Utah came in 2nd, behind only Hawaii.



WalletHub based their hierarchy on 31 different metrics (including factors such as physical and mental health, hours worked, commute time, volunteer hours, and divorce rate) across three categories: “Physical and emotional well-being,” “Work Environment,” and “Community and Environment.” While Utah was middle-of-the-pack for physical and emotional well-being, its top ranking in work environment and a number 2 spot in community helped secure its place as America’s second happiest state, according to WalletHub.

The study found that Utahns work the least, volunteer the most, and participate in sports more than any state other than Colorado. The Beehive State is also the 10th healthiest in the U.S. according to a separate U.S. News study.

There are certainly flaws to using analytics to measure something as subjective as happiness. For example, Utah has the fifth highest suicide rate, according to the study. This disturbing metric was partially off-set by Utah’s lowest-in-the-nation divorce rate—a dubious measure of happiness. Meanwhile, “Ideal Weather” was also a factor—based on WalletHub’s “ideal” winter conditions of 45-degrees Fahrenheit and .07 inches of precipitation. In other words, The Greatest Snow on Earth, which brings so much joy to so many in the state, actually hurt Utah’s ranking.


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WalletHub’s analytics-based study isn’t the only one giving Utah high ranks on the happiness scale.

The Gallup Organization takes a different approach in their annual well-being rankings. They essentially ask people how happy they are. Their 2019 rankings are based on 115,000 surveys addressing five essential elements: Career, Social, Financial, Community, and Physical. Judged by these methods, Utah is still one of the happiest states in the U.S., ranking 5th in the Gallup study.  

There are other consistencies between the two studies: Hawaii topped both charts, while West Virginia is the saddest state, according to both studies. There are some discrepancies as well. Alaska ranks third-happiest in the Gallup survey, yet is the fourth saddest state in the country according to WalletHub.


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Utahns, of course, don’t need pollsters or finance experts to tell us we live in a pretty awesome place. The state economy has been steadily growing for a decade and the unemployment rate is historically low. Utah has some of the most beautiful mountains, canyons, lakes, rivers, and open spaces in the world. Recreation opportunities are abundant and accessible, creating an ideal work/play balance. And regardless of where you find your tribe, the sense of community is ubiquitous throughout the state.

Now that you know the value of living here, come visit our neck of the woods and experience it yourself. Our Huntsville, Utah Lodging is the closest lodging to Snowbasin and our Eden, Utah Vacation Rentals will put you close to Powder Mountain Resort. Once you get here, you won’t want to leave. Live in the Ogden Valley with Huntsville Real Estate or Mountain Green Homes for Sale. Or, check out city real estate with Ogden Homes for Sale. There’s no such thing as a bad day in the mountains, let us be your guide.