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An article in the NYT points to a new report in Science Magazine that ranks New York in last place, when it comes to happiness.
Ah, you talkin about us?
New York is number 51. DC was included in the study. Unhappiness seems to be radiating from New York. Connecticut was ranked 50 and New Jersey 49. I guess misery loves company.
The study was based on two sets of information. “One was a survey of 1.3 million Americans done over four years by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which asked people about their health and how satisfied they were with their lives. Those self-assessments were stacked against “objective indicators” borrowed from researchers at U.C.L.A. They included state-by-state variances on quality-of-life gauges like climate, taxes, cost of living, commuting times, crime rates and schools.”
“When the two sets were blended, the economists discovered that the subjective judgments closely tracked the objective ones. In other words, people knew what they were talking about when they said if they were happy or not. Americans who described themselves as satisfied tended to live in places where the quality of life was good by most standards — where the sun shone a lot, the air was reasonably clear, housing didn’t leave you busted, traffic wasn’t too fierce and so on.”
The top 10 states on the happiness scale are, in descending order, Louisiana, Hawaii, Florida, Tennessee, Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, South Carolina, Alabama and Maine.
Professor Oswald (one of the economic professors responsible for the study) said that many people think of states like New York and California (#46) as “marvelous places to live in.”
“The problem,” he said, “is that if too many individuals think that way, they move into those states, and the resulting congestion and house prices make it a nonfulfilling prophecy.”