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WalletHub just released its report on 2022’s Happiest States in America and New Jersey came in at number 5! To determine the results, they compared the 50 states across 30 different indicators of happiness. The study looked at depression rates, unemployment rates and income growth to figure out which states have the happiest residents. They also looked at factors such as how productive adults feel to whether or not they get adequate sleep, which can certainly have an effect on overall happiness.

Here are the top 20 happiest states in the US according to the study:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Maryland
  3. Minnesota
  4. Utah
  5. New Jersey
  6. Idaho
  7. California
  8. Illinois
  9. Nebraska
  10. Connecticut
  11. Virginia
  12. South Dakota
  13. North Dakota
  14. Massachusetts
  15. New Hampshire
  16. Iowa
  17. Delaware
  18. Florida
  19. Georgia
  20. North Carolina

When it came to states with the lowest levels of depression, New Jersey ranked fifth for the least depressed states. The Garden State had low suicide rates and came in 3rd for lowest rates of separation and divorce.

WalletHub also looked at the share of adults that feel active and productive, and for this category, we came in 13th. Research shows that when people feel productive, it has a profound effect on their overall happiness.

“Once the basic necessities of life are secured (safety, shelter, food, etc.) the key to happiness appears to be strong social relationships with a few people,” says Jim Allen, associate professor, SUNY Geneseo and expert commentator on the study.

“Schools, neighborhoods and community and faith-based organizations can play a big role in helping support well-being and cultivating collective happiness,” says Maryam Kia-Keating, PhD, professor University of California Santa Barbara and licensed clinical psychologist.

It’s clear that NJ offers that strong sense of community and belonging that many families seek!

For the full results of the study click here.

Want more? See the Garden State’s Best in 2022.