AND THE HAPPIEST STATE IN AMERICA IS… Louisiana?

18 12 2009

Happy Rednecks

According to a recent study published in Science magazine, Louisiana topped the list of the happiest states in America.  Here’s how the study was done:

“The researchers examined a 2005- 2008 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System random sample of 1.3 million United States citizens in which Life-satisfaction in each U.S. state is measured. This provided a league table of happiness by US State reproduced below. This is the first large scale analysis of happiness levels in the US.”

So Louisiana came in first, Hawaii second, Florida third, and New York came in last.  But what accounts for these discrepancies?

The Huffington Post (God bless ’em) posted an article by Randolph Schmid that claims, “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.”

Um… have they ever been to Louisiana?  Louisiana has one of the worst school systems in the nation.  It’s always either raining or oppressively hot outside, and the crime rate in New Orleans is laughably high.  But the secret is, Louisianians aren’t really bothered by those things.  They  just want you to pass them a beer. If that’s all you need in life– a beer, some shrimp and rice, and maybe a good football game– then it’s pretty easy to be the happiest state in the union.

Know why New York came in last?  Because New Yorkers are high-maintenance, constantly demanding absurd luxuries like “quality health care,” “lower crime rates,” “honest politicians” and “good schools.”

There’s a lesson to be taken away from this study, and that lesson can be summed up in three words:

Lower. your. expectations.

I would also like to note that Texas is number 16.  Heh heh.

Here is the full list of rankings, since many of you will be too lazy to click on the above link:

  1. Louisiana
  2. Hawaii
  3. Florida
  4. Tennessee
  5. Arizona
  6. Mississippi
  7. Montana
  8. South Carolina
  9. Alabama
  10. Maine
  11. Alaska
  12. North Carolina
  13. Wyoming
  14. Idaho
  15. South Dakota
  16. Texas
  17. Arkansas
  18. Vermont
  19. Georgia
  20. Oklahoma
  21. Colorado
  22. Delaware
  23. Utah
  24. New Mexico
  25. North Dakota
  26. Minnesota
  27. New Hampshire
  28. Virginia
  29. Wisconsin
  30. Oregon
  31. Iowa
  32. Kansas
  33. Nebraska
  34. West Virginia
  35. Kentucky
  36. Washington
  37. District of Columbia
  38. Missouri
  39. Nevada
  40. Maryland
  41. Pennsylvania
  42. Rhode Island
  43. Massachusetts
  44. Ohio
  45. Illinois
  46. California
  47. Indiana
  48. Michigan
  49. New Jersey
  50. Connecticut
  51. New York
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10 responses

18 12 2009
bros

this is truly baffling LB. the top like 6 or 7 of these states listed have terrible school systems and an undereducated populace. according to this list

http://www.statemaster.com/graph/edu_bes_edu_ind-education-best-educated-index

happy states appear to be pretty much inversely correlated with educated residents. I have another 3 word lesson for you:

Ignorance is Bliss.

18 12 2009
Geof

nicely stated.

18 12 2009
new orleanian

Happiness is based on climate, crime rates, air quality and schools? Who knew?

Being a fairly educated and happy New Orleanian (and native Louisianian), I don’t feel my expectations are lowered in any way. I just think it’s slightly ridiculous to base your happiness on a bunch of conditions that you have almost no control over. I like this idea better:

“The Grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” Allan K. Chalmers:

I’ll attempt to make my own list of what makes me happy in Louisiana:

1. Something to do: “Laissez les bon temps roulez!” This is basically the state motto. Who cares about education, crime and hot weather when you just want to have a damn good time. Louisiana is the land of festivals: Mardi Gras, Boudin, Cracklin, Yam, Tomato, Seafood, Frog, Oyster…

2. Something to love: This is hard to narrow down between the food, music and the people. I’ll go with the people since I mentioned food in #1: If you come to Louisiana, especially Cajun Country, you will meet possibly the nicest people that exist. Walk into any store, be it Mom and Pops chicken palace or the Apple store, and you will be greeted with, “Where you been sha!? It’s been a long time since I seen your mom and them.” This makes me happy.

3. Something to hope for: WHO DAT! Saints win Superbowl 2010. Enough said.

18 12 2009
districtramblings

Well said New Orleanian! I agree.

18 12 2009
swirlz

#5! WHOO-WHOO! But seriously, LA? I hate these rank rankers everywhere, sha! Like the other one the other day that named BALTIMORE and PITTSBURGH as up and coming places to live? I mean, c’mon. Who are these people??

20 12 2009
CB-(also from Louisiana)

But Swirlz, the ranking isn’t about LA being a great place to live, it’s about LA having the happiest people…having contentment…serenity. To be content and serene in spite of bad circumstances (crooked politicians, crappy hot weather, hurricanes, mosquitos, poverty, bad schools) requires an ability to accept what you have no control over and not let it pull you down. When a hurricane is eminent, we stock up on alcohol and junk food and invite everyone over for a hurricane party. Really, we do that. We joke about our state and make fun of ourselves because we know what we look like from the outside, but we secretly love it here because it’s fun and the people are friendly characters who are full of life.

20 12 2009
Vjane

CB; – you forgot a few things when preparing for a hurricane. If you are a woman you quickly get a hair appointment, a manacure, pedicure and then head for the liquor store. Dont forget ice and lots of water. Then you are ready to party unless you have to evacuate but either way, you are prepared. And isnt it when a hurricane is imminent (spelling ?) not eminent ??

20 12 2009
CB-(also from Louisiana)

hmm…I didn’t think that looked right. Thanks. And while we’re at it, it’s manicure, not manacure. See what a Louisiana education does for us? That’s what I’m talkin’ about…dumb but happy.

20 12 2009
AEC

Virginia is only # 28. We stress after a great snowstorm about how fast the roads will be cleared so we can get to work the next day. And worry about how bad rush hour will be on Monday!

30 12 2009
Vjane

CB is dumb but happy in #1
AEC is full of stress in #28
Vjane never learned to spell in #49 but now in #6 her life is sublime.

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