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Who are the happiest people in the US and why?

Words by Tess Becker

What does it take to be happy? Who are the happiest people and why? This is something we'd all surely love to know.

Luckily, it's also what the Wall Street Journal wanted to find out in 2021 when they partnered with the independent research organization, NORC at the University of Chicago.

The latest data from their research came out in March of this year and gave many insights into how the happiest people in the US tend to live. 

Participants in the research were asked a variety of questions about their feelings on issues such as the economy and the importance of college education, as well as their levels of personal satisfaction in general.

Of the 1,019 adults polled, 56% rated themselves “pretty happy,” while a much smaller group, just 12%, considered themselves “very happy".

Given the turbulence in the US, it comes as a pleasant surprise that over 50% of Americans rated themselves as pretty happy. And the happiest among the respondents didn’t say it was wealth or health that made them happy, but that it was their relationships with people. Meanwhile, the very happy people tend to be older. 

“As we get older and realize that death is a real thing, rather than making us depressed, it makes us put a priority on well-being,” said Robert J. Waldinger, a professor of psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School. 

So the message emerging from the research seems to be, don’t focus on existential dread and try to spend more time with loved ones.

Charity check-in

At Smiley Movement, we like to elevate the work of charities across the world. Here are three charities whose causes align with the themes in this article.

Path Home. This organization helps families facing homelessness in Portland, Oregon. Find out more and support them here

Hope South Florida. They help people affected by homelessness across the tri-county South Florida. Find out more

National Coalition for the Homeless. They aid homeless people around the country through their many branches. Support them here.

This article aligns with the UN SDG Partners of the Goals.

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs

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