It’s no surprise with a nickname like “Happy Valley” that Utah claimed the No. 4 spot as one of the “Happiest States” according to a study by the University of Vermont.
The study examined 10 million geotagged tweets to find the happiest states in America. Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Utah and Vermont made up the happiest states from keywords in their tweets. CNN reported that the study created a scale to indicate what tweeted words were considered sad or happy:
“The list includes 10,000 words that have been rated on a scale 1 to 10 according to how “happy” they are. On the lower end of the scale are negative words such as mad, hate, no, boo, smoke and jail, as well as a colorful and thorough assortment of expletives.
“Happy words include the omnipresent LOL and haha, as well as good, nice, sleep and wine, and food or beach related words. According to the list, rainbow is one of the happiest words and earthquake is one of the saddest.”
The Atlantic broke down the data, finding Louisiana as the saddest state and Hawaii as the happiest. The happiest city in America is Napa, Calif., while the saddest is Beaumont, Texas. Ironically, the saddest states tend to swear a lot.
Since Twitter was launched in 2006, the number of users on Twitter continues to grow. However, only 15 percent of adults are on Twitter according to Pew Research Center.
“The results in this report are based on data from telephone interviews conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from January 20 to February 19, 2012, among a sample of 2,253 adults, age 18 and older, and from March 15 to April 3, 2012, among a sample of 2,254 adults, age 18 and older.”
With such a small percentage of the population being accounted for on Twitter, it is difficult to be sure how accurate a resource Twitter can be for an overall view of state happiness. However, the study has shown that, at least on Twitter, there is a measure in tweets for the happiest states.