NEW JERSEY – New Jersey, often the brunt of many jokes, is having the last laugh thanks to a new study that ranks it among the happiest states in the country.
The Garden State even beat the Empire State and all other states in physical and emotional well-being.
WalletHub used 32 key metrics to determine a state’s happiness level ranging from the depression rate and the positive COVID-19 testing rate to income growth and the unemployment rate.
Despite the difficulties brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, the happiest states in the union are Hawaii at no. 1, followed by Utah at no. 2, and then Minnesota at no. 3. NJ ranked fourth happiest. Connecticut was no. 10 and New York was no. 17. West Virginia was last on the list.
NJ was ranked 30th for ‘work environment’ and 22nd for ‘community and environment.’
Some of the other findings include the lowest share of adult depression were in NJ while NY has the third-lowest level. NJ and NY tie for the lowest suicide risk.
And, things seem rosy for the Garden State in terms of employment with a near-the-bottom ranking for highest long-term unemployment rate. NJ lands at 49, higher only than New Mexico. Last month, the number of people applying for jobless benefits in New Jersey fell to just over 20,000.