Most Cheerful States in the United States 2022

Last updated on October 31st, 2022 at 01:58 pm

The latest top 10 most cheerful states in the U.S. are Utah, Vermont, Colorado, Iowa, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Nebraska, North Dakota, Washington, and Idaho, a latest report which employed Microsoft Azure Face API revealed that most of the people in these states are the happiest in the United States.

Many factors influence happiness, but the researchers employed facial recognition technology to detect which U.S. states have the most cheerful residents.


The states were rated based on 100 points. In the end, Utah garners a 74.49 happiness score and 70.7 per cent of photos containing a cheery grin.

Nicknamed “Beehive State”, Utah has a lot of beautiful rivers around it e.g Colorado River which is the longest river in Utah and stretches to about 2,330 kilometers.

Apart from that, the state is a proud destination of Green River and other amazing beautiful scenes may have contributed to the ranking of Utah as the state with the most cheerful people in the U.S.

Good enough, the research doesn’t shy away from the fact that location could contribute the one’s source of happiness because 8 of the 10 happiness states lie west of the Mississippi River.


Known for its welcoming and beautiful mountains, Vermont is the second most cheerful U.S. state, scoring 72.29 out of 100.

The latest happiness ranking justifies the 2018 CNBC report which uses factors like education quality, healthcare, affordable housing, and cost of living among others, rates Vermont as the best place to live in the U.S.

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Most importantly, the factors used by CNBC play a significant role in a person’s happiness coupled with the beautiful forest and mountains.


Interestingly, the no. 3 on the list share a border with Utah. Known for its wildlife, hiking, and mountain biking, Colorado is one of the best U.S. states to spend some time away either alone or with loved ones.

Since carefully choosing a beautiful environment could change your mood, take a trip to Colorado. Location matters as the researchers put it. The state scores 71.74 out of 100 in the latest happiness ranking.

Least Happiness States in the U.S.

The HouseFresh study also revealed the least cheerful states as California, New Jersey, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Louisiana (and Massachusetts), New Mexico, Connecticut, Maryland, Maine, and Georgia.


As large as California’s economy is and despite the concentration of tech billionaires and successful businessmen and women in CA, that’s not enough to make it the happiest among the 50 U.S. states.

The opulence living in California by most of its wealthy residents shows that money is not enough for happiness going by the results obtained from the thousands of geotagged Instagram selfies collated from around the U.S. using Azure.

Before the latest research, there are reports of declining in the population of California partly due to the cost of living in the state and other factors.

Specifically, the California Department of Finance in May 2022, reported that there was a 0.3 per cent decline in population between 2021 and 2022, meaning 117,552 residents left the state for another.

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Lest I forget, California is one of the most expensive states to buy a home. You may have to compete with billionaires or millionaires in some cities.

New Jersey

Out of 100, New Jersey scored 40.61, making it the least cheerful state, no thanks to the high rate of property crime in the state. Though there are still some of the safest places in NJ.

New Jersey, according to, is ranked no. 5 for property crime out of 50 states, whether this affected the happiness of NJ residents, the researchers did not say.


Producing the fifth-highest number of professional basketball players per capital in the United States plus having the second-largest automotive industry, but the indicators of economic growth in Indiana are not enough to save the state from the list of least happy states in the U.S. The survey reveals that gets 44.90 out of 100.

Can’t find your state in the list? Check the table below to know where your state belongs

8North Dakota69.38%
22North Carolina62.09%
24New York60.17%
27Rhode Island59.13%
30New Hampshire58.12%
32South Carolina57.75%
35West Virginia56.40%
36South Dakota55.81%
44New Mexico50.41%
49New Jersey40.61%
Source: HouseFresh


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Data analysts analyzed a database of Instagram selfies from across 50 U.S. states and 100 biggest cities by using Azure (Microsoft’s face recognition API). The aim was to know which states and cities are the happiest places to live. Details of the HouseFresh survey are available on its website.


HouseFresh vs WalletHub Rating: The 2022 HouseFresh Cheerful Study is a shift from an earlier happiest U.S. states carried out by due to a different methodology.

In an earlier survey by WalletHub, a personal finance website, Hawaii was rated as the No. 1 happiest state in the U.S. while it rated Utah, and Minnesota in the 2nd and third position. New Jersey, Maryland, California, North Dakota, Iowa, Idaho, and Connecticut also made the wallethub.

However, the HouseFresh survey rates Utah as the no. 1 happiest U.S state. Iowa which is no. 8 on WalletHub list occupies the fourth position in the latest ratings, while North Dakota (no. 7 on wallethub) is no. 8 on housefresh.


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