Idaho 6th happiest state in nation

Sep 15th, 2016 | By | Category: Business news, Uncategorized

Journal Staff

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Submitted Photo

Economists are pretty good at measuring the most of the metrics that affect a humming economy – unemployment, incomes, etc. But what about measuring happiness?

The elusive metric isn’t easy to fit into a tidy data set – but the folks at WalletHub tried. When all was said and done, their research ranked Idaho as the 6th happiest state in the nation. Utah was ranked no. 1 with Minnesota at no. 2.

Their data, released in September, said Idaho ranked third in the nation for happiest work environment. The state achieved the second lowest hedonometer rating of all 50 states and its volunteerism rate was second only to Utah.

In a few other findings about Idaho:

Happiness in Idaho (1=Best; 25=Avg.)

  • 2nd – Hedonometer Ranking
  • 28th – Depression Rate
  • 9th – Adequate-Sleep Rate
  • 10th – Long-Term Unemployment Rate
  • 2nd – Volunteerism Rate
  • 12th – Divorce Rate
  • 24th – Safety Ranking


A hedonometer is a device used to gauge happiness or pleasure. Conceived of at least as early as 1880, the term was used in 1881 by the economist Francis Ysidro Edgeworth to describe “an ideally perfect instrument, a psychophysical machine, continually registering the height of pleasure experienced by an individual.”

More recently, it has been used to refer to a tool developed by Peter Dodds and Chris Danforth to gauge the valence of various corpora, including historical State of the Union addresses, song lyrics, and online tweets and blogs. A version of the tool is available at, which they call a sort of “Dow Jones Index of Happiness”, and hope will be used by government officials in conjunction with other metrics as a gauge of the population’s well-being. For more on that work, visit

For the full report, please visit:

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