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Sign in West Virginia storefront reading:
Can't blame West Virginia residents for thinking everything is shit.
So there's this thing that measures how happy people are:
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which interviewed more than 176,000 people from all 50 states last year, measures the physical and emotional health of Americans across the country.
So take a gander at the states with the most miserable people:

10. Louisiana
9. Oklahoma
8. Missouri
7. Tennessee
6. Arkansas
5. Ohio
4. Alabama
3. Mississippi
2. Kentucky
1. West Virginia

Mississippi is thrilled that it didn't top this list. West Virginia topped it by just being absolutely despondent about their future. And really, can't say I blame them when water in Mexico is safer than the stuff coming out of their own tap.

In any case, for those keeping score at home, that's nine red states and just one blue state. And that's not a coincidence. Also not a coincidence: Those are southern states. In fact, regionalism seems to correlate strongly on this list. I took the states ranked 1-25 on the list and colored them green, while those in the lower half red. This is what it looks like:

Color coded map of the United States showing states above and below the
If we push out to #34 on the list, then Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico and Wyoming are green and all remaining red is to the east. Any thoughts why? It goes beyond mere partisanship (North and South Dakota top the list because their energy boom means lots of good-paying jobs). But aside from upper New England, New Jersey and the DC area, the further west you go, the happier, healthier and more optimistic people are.

Originally posted to kos on Mon Feb 24, 2014 at 01:05 PM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos and Daily Kos Classics.

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