Who says you have to be depressed during the greatest economic catastrophe since the Great Depression?
Three international researchers recently announced that they have used a mixture of economic, industrial and Gallup poll data to rank the individual US states by happiness level. Their resulting study, which will be published in the December issue of the Journal of Research in Personality, crowns Utah as the happiest state in the Union. And you wondered why all those gleaming smiles were wandering around the Great Salt Lake! The most unhappy of our nifty fifty is West Virginia. Perhaps it has something to do with all those incest jokes at their expense.
The study measures physical and emotional health, overall satisfaction with the respondents personal and professional lives, and how they view the possibilities of the future. Their findings discovered a direct correlation between higher happiness scores and more concrete measurements of education, wealth, diversity and a larger proportion of creative occupations — you know, the giddy artsy types like artists, architects, writers, teachers, engineers, scientists, and so on.
You know… I don’t think I would ever have defined an engineer or a scientist as one of the artsy occupations. Lets hope they start to buy houses soon and make the rest of us even happier.
Anyway, where is Maryland on the list? Actually higher than you think! Maryland ranks as number 6, the highest ranking of any east coast state. The top five are all in the west or midwest, and we beat the pants off of all of our neighbors — not just the Mountaineers. Virginia is closest to us at number 15; Pennsylvania is way down at number 32; Delaware moans its way to number 36.
So, the next time you find yourself thinking that the grass is greener on the other side of the … border — any border, just pick one — smile and remember the value of all those wild and crazy mechanical engineers, and all the joy they bring to your life.