The Happiness Index, released by personal finance site Mainstreet.com, ranks economic satisfaction levels state-by-state. The Midwest was one of the most financially content parts of the country, with Nebraska grabbing the number one spot, followed by Iowa and Kansas, according to a release of the results. The full top 10 on the index were:
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
The ratings were based on a cross-section of key financial factors: average non-mortgage debt relative to average annual income, foreclosure numbers, and unemployment rate.
It might surprise you that the areas where people make more money did not necessary rank highly on the list. Mainstreet.com said several states that boast major cosmopolitan and cultural centers surprisingly ranked poorly in terms of financial happiness. New York, however, did make it in the top 15. Despite its 7.8% unemployment rate, its foreclosure and debt rates are average.
Oregon was declared the saddest state at number 51, with Florida (50), California (49), Nevada (48), and Rhode Island (47) trailing not far behind.
“Looking squarely at the numbers, it seems that there is a great deal more economic contentment in the small cities, towns, and corn fields of the Midwest,” said Harleen Kahlon, general manager of MainStreet.com, in the release.
The full list and analysis is available here.