Think New Yorkers are better off than their neighbors across the Hudson River? Fuhgeddaboutit.
The annual “Happiest States in America” report has placed New Jersey at the top of its “emotional & physical well-being” ranking — five spots ahead of New York at No. 6.
In fact, the Garden State bested New York in every category in terms of work-life, community welfare and overall happiness.
Perhaps surprisingly, the happiest state overall went to Hawaii, followed by Utah, then Minnesota. At a highly respectable No. 4 is New Jersey. Even some of our closest neighbors — including Maryland, Connecticut and Vermont, ranked Nos. 5, 10 and 16, respectively — came out ahead of New York’s 17th spot.
Our biggest rival doesn’t impress in the categories of “work environment” (No. 30) and “community & environment” (No. 22), but it still beat our abysmal scores in the same categories (Nos. 44 and 45).
Despite what we may want to believe, the survey is thorough. Financial resource website WalletHub collected data from Gallup, the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as its own previous surveys, to inform across the three categories. Within each are 32 “relevant metrics,” weighted for importance based on past research on happiness factors.
While New Yorkers are eating humble pie, they may want to gain some perspective by helping others — and boosting our position as the state with the fourth lowest volunteer rate.