New Jersey is a pretty happy state and if you’re lucky enough to live here, chances are there’s a smile on your face, too.

With 87% of Americans feeling anxious or very anxious about inflation, according to a recent American Psychiatric Association poll, the personal finance website WalletHub released its report on 2022’s Happiest States in America.

Analysts compared all 50 states across 30 key indicators of happiness with data ranging from the depression rate to the share of adults feeling productive to income growth and the unemployment rate.

What makes NJ so happy?

When it comes to emotional and physical well-being, work environment, and community and environment, New Jersey is the fifth happiest state in the country.

According to WalletHub, New Jersey has the lowest suicide rate in the nation with New York in second place.

New Jersey ranked second in the work environment category. It has the third lowest separation and divorce rate in the United States and it has the fifth lowest share of adult depression.

The Garden State misses the top 10 when it comes to the safest cities in the U.S., coming in at number 11.

Where NJ falls short

While New Jersey is happy and scored very well in the bulk of categories, there is always room for improvement.

It is the fourth highest (47) for the long-term unemployment rate. It ranked 28th for income growth and 25th for adequate sleep rate, which is considered “average,” according to WalletHub.

Hawaii is the happiest state in America. Maryland is second happiest, followed by Minnesota, Utah, and of course, New Jersey rounding out the top five.

West Virginia is the most depressed state in the country followed by Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Alabama.

Jen Ursillo is a reporter and anchor for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach her at

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