It's official. We are miserable. And not just any kind of miserable. New York -- in typical all-or-nothing fashion -- is the most unhappy state in the union.
New Yorkers say they are unhappy and now so do scientists who correlated self-reported feelings of happiness with objective measures of good living such as weather. And New York came in dead last in the survey of 1.3 million people across the country by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
People in sunny, outdoorsy states — Louisiana, Hawaii, Florida — say they're the happiest Americans. Not surprisingly, the places where people are most likely to report happiness also tend to rate high on studies comparing things like climate, crime rates, air quality and schools.
At the other end of the scale, last in happiness — is New York state. Long commutes, congestion and high prices around New York City account for some of the unhappiness, said one of the authors of the study, economist Andrew J. Oswald of the University of Warwick in England.
He said he has been asked if the researchers expected that states like New York and California, which ranked 46th, would do so badly in the happiness ranking.
"I am only a little surprised," he said. "Many people think these states would be marvelous places to live in. The problem is that if too many individuals think that way, they move into those states, and the resulting congestion and house prices make it a non-fulfilling prophecy."