Move south, be happy

Warmer climes, bigger smiles, according to new study

By Thomas Schaller
December 19, 2009 12:53AM (UTC)
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Warmer climates make people happier, at least according to a new study of American happiness discussed by

Of the top 10 happiest states, all but two -- Montana and Maine -- are in the Sun Belt. The top 10, in order, are: Louisiana, Hawaii, Florida, Tennessee, Arizona, Mississippi, Montana, South Carolina, Alabama and Maine.


Ah,  but as LiveScience notes, these results contradict another recent study that suggests that wealthier, better educated and more tolerant states are home to the happiest Americans. The top 10 states in that study are:  Utah, Hawaii, Wyoming, Colorado, Minnesota, Maryland, Washington, Massachusetts, California and Arizona.

That makes Hawaii and Arizona the only two states to make the top 10 in both.

Smart, tolerant, wealthy and tanned. Not a bad combination. Aloha!



Thomas Schaller

Thomas F. Schaller is professor of political science at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the author of "Whistling Past Dixie: How Democrats Can Win Without the South." Follow him @schaller67.

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