A study that reports it looked at more than 80 million words on Twitter as well as annual state surveys found that Maine followed only Hawaii in general happiness. The saddest states were Louisiana and Mississippi.
The study comes from researchers at the Vermont Complex Systems Center, who posted their analysis to arXiv.org, an electronic archive for scientific papers. The researchers reported that the goal of the paper was to “investigate how geographic place correlates with and potentially inﬂuences societal levels of happiness.” The paper focused on both states and larger cities.
To determine what counted as a happy tweet, the center used scores by workers from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service, who rated about 10,000 individual words on a scale of 1 (sad) to 9 (happy). “Rainbow” scored 8.1 while “earthquake” scored 1.9. Other words the researchers thought you were happy while tweeting included love, beauty, hope and wonderful while the scorers thought you were sad when tweeting words such as ugly, hate and lied.
Generally, Northeast and far West states scored on the happy end of the scale and the Southeast reaching north through the Rust Belt was closest to the sad end.
After Hawaii and Maine, the next happiest states were Nevada, Utah and Vermont.