Florida writes that the index takes into account factors like emotional health, work environment, physical health, life evaluation, healthy behaviors, and access to basic resources. Gallup's resulting map shows that the happiest states include Hawaii, North Dakota, Minnesota, Utah, Alaska, and Colorado. While the least happy states include West Virginia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Delaware, and Ohio.
According to Florida, "This squares with a 2009 study I conducted with Cambridge University psychologist Jason Rentfrow and my colleague Charlotta Mellander. The research, published in the Journal of Personality Research, found that happier states were wealthier and more educated, with higher levels of the creative class and greater levels of tolerance and diversity."