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Oklahoma ranks low on happiness scale

Oklahoma is the 38th happiest state in the country, according to a new study. Hawaii is the happiest state and West Virginia came in last.
BY CARRIE COPPERNOLL ccoppernoll@opubco.com Published: March 9, 2011
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Apparently Oklahoma isn't that happy.

The Sooner State ranked No. 38 among all 50 states when it comes to our general well-being, according to a recent Gallup Poll. Hawaii, of course, won. Show offs. Apparently things aren't going too well in West Virginia. They came in last.

I think Oklahoma is a pretty pleasant place to be, so I looked into Gallup's methodology. They called more than 350,000 people throughout the country last year. Pollsters asked people how things were going in six major categories:

Life evaluation: How we feel like our lives are now and how they will be.

Emotional health: How we feel.

Work environment: Whether we like our jobs and our bosses.

Physical health: How healthy we are.

Healthy behaviors: How little we smoke and how well we eat.

Basic access: How we feel about our community and how accessible health care, food and other needs are.

Missing categories?

These categories encompass so much of our lives, but I think the pollsters left out a few key factors in general well-being.

Thunder: Whether we have the most exciting team in the NBA. (Sorry, Washington.)

Bowling: Whether our major colleges won their bowl games. (Sorry, Connecticut and Arizona.)

Cowboys: The ratio of people who can lasso to those who cannot. (Sorry, New Jersey. At least you win the spray tan category.)

Catfish: How many festivals are dedicated to noodling and how many good restaurants serve fried catfish. Bonus points are awarded for frequent gravy use. (Our only competition for this is Louisiana.)

Friendliness: Whether people wave to or smile at strangers. (Sorry, New York.)

All these things make me happy, even though I can't lasso anything. Next year, I hope Gallup pollsters take these factors into account. But Hawaii might still win. I hear it's pretty great.


AT A GLANCE

HAPPINESS RANKING

The Gallup Poll ranked each of the 50 states for general well-being. Pollsters conducted their survey throughout 2010.

1. Hawaii

2. Wyoming

3. North Dakota

4. Alaska

5. Minnesota

6. South Dakota

7. Colorado

8. Connecticut

9. Utah

10. Massachusetts

11. Nebraska

12. Maryland

13. Washington

14. Montana.

15. Kansas

16. New Hampshire

17. Vermont

18. California

19. Iowa

20. Idaho

21. New Mexico

22. Virginia

23. Wisconsin

24. New Jersey

25. Maine

26. Illinois

27. Oregon

28. Texas

29. Arizona

30. Pennsylvania

31. Georgia

32. New York

33. Rhode Island

34. Missouri

35. South Carolina

36. North Carolina

37. Florida

38. Oklahoma

39. Indiana

40. Tennessee

41. Michigan

42. Louisiana

43. Delaware

44. Nevada

45. Ohio

46. Arkansas

47. Alabama

48. Mississippi

49. Kentucky

50. West Virginia

SOURCE: Gallup Poll

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