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Oregon is Not Very Happy, Says New Study

Tuesday, September 12, 2017
GoLocalPDX News Team

Oregon is not happy. 

According to a recent study done by WalletHub, Oregon is ranked 32nd when it comes to the happiest states in the U.S. 

“People determine their own happiness. But how content we are with life is not only and always a matter of perspective. And it’s certainly not about beauty, power or wealth — at least, not beyond an annual income of $75,000. Where we choose to live can also influence our level of happiness,” said WalletHub.

Oregon's Rankings 

  • 44th Best - Emotional and Physical Well Being 
  • 2nd Best - Work Environment 
  • 23rd Best - Community and Environment 
  • 50th - Highest Share of Adult Depression 
  • 2nd - Highest Sports Participation Rate
  • 2nd - Fewest Work Hours 


The Rankings 

Oregon ranks behind Georgia and Florida, who rank 30th and 31st respectively. 

Oregon ranks ahead of Rhode Island and Indiana, who rank 33rd and 34th respectively. 

Minnesota is ranked as the happiest state in the country, while West Virginia is ranked last.

Happiest States in America

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

The Method

In order to determine the happiest states in America, WalletHub’s analysts compared the 50 states across three key dimensions: 1) Emotional & Physical Well-Being, 2) Work Environment and 3) Community & Environment.

They evaluated those dimensions using 28 relevant metrics. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing maximum happiness.

They determined each state’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its total score and used the resulting scores to rank-order the sample.

Emotional & Physical Well-Being - Total Points: 50

  • Purpose Score: Full Weight (~3.70 Points)
  • Physical Health Index: Full Weight (~3.70 Points)
  • Share of Adult Depression: Triple Weight (~11.11 Points)
  • Emotional-Health Index: Half Weight (~1.85 Points)
  • Adequate-Sleep Rate: Full Weight (~3.70 Points)
  • Sports-Participation Rate: Full Weight (~3.70 Points)
  • Share of Adults Feeling Active & Productive: Full Weight (~3.70 Points)
  • Illness & Disability Index: Full Weight (~3.70 Points)
  • Life Expectancy: Full Weight (~3.70 Points)
  • Suicide Rate: Double Weight (~7.41 Points)
  • Food-Insecurity Rate: Full Weight (~3.70 Points)


Work Environment - Total Points: 25

  • Number of Work Hours: Triple Weight (~5.77 Points)
  • Commute Time: Half Weight (~0.96 Points)
  • Income Level: Half Weight (~0.96 Points)
  • Share of Adults Worried About Money: Half Weight (~0.96 Points)
  • Current Unemployment Rate: Half Weight (~0.96 Points)
  • Long-Term Unemployment Rate: Full Weight (~1.92 Points)
  • Underemployment Rate: Full Weight (~1.92 Points)
  • Job Security: Triple Weight (~5.77 Points)
  • Job Satisfaction Score: Full Weight (~1.92 Points)
  • Income-Growth Rate: Half Weight (~0.96 Points)
  • Economic-Confidence Index: Full Weight (~1.92 Points)
  • Median Credit Score: Half Weight (~0.96 Points)


Community & Environment - Total Points: 25


  • Volunteer Rate: Half Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Ideal Weather: Half Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Average Leisure Time Spent per Day: Full Weight (~6.25 Points)
  • Separation & Divorce Rate: Full Weight (~6.25 Points)
  • Safety: Full Weight (~6.25 Points)
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