Dontcha Know Why Minnesota Is the Happiest State in America?
In defense of the Gopher State, from some guy who's from there
According to a new study, Minnesota is the happiest state in America.
Pause. You don’t honestly believe that, do you?
Even after scrolling through the metrics published this month by WalletHub (split into three categories: Emotional and Physical Well-Being, Work Environment and Community and Environment) you won’t be convinced to move to the “flyover state.”
“Can people really be happy in a place that cold?” you wonder. You challenge: “What’s the point of 10,000 lakes if they’re always frozen?” Or, you say “well Prince is from there … but he’s dead now.” And yes, Jesse Ventura was the governor at some point. Don’t ask.
In the study, all 50 states are measured and ranked on statistics from ideal weather to adequate-sleep rate to suicide rate to job security. And Minnesota comes out on top as the only state to break 70 out of 100, more than doubling the score of last place (West Virginia). Utah, Hawaii, California and Nebraska make up the top five. Meanwhile, Arkansas, Alabama, Louisiana and Oklahoma round out the bottom five.
Still, statistically speaking, Minnesota will not induce so much as a ruminative Garrison Keillor-like sigh in those looking to relocate.
It should be clear by now that your correspondent hails from Minnesota. Furthermore, I am planning on moving back at some point. And speaking for all Minnesotans: please keep thinking our state sucks.
Because your stereotypes of the North Star State is a huge part of why it’s the happiest in the country. Essentially, we’re all in on a secret that the rest of the country is not privy to.
Yes, Minnesota winters are colder than most. But that just means snow days and pedal-powered polar bears and driving on frozen lakes. When warm weather comes around, people go absolutely bananas, which far exceeds any habitual southern beachgoing — lawn chairs, shorts and grills are unearthed when it hits 45 degrees.
Then there’s the vibrant mix of cultures from old Germans to newer Somalis. There’s also a top-notch theatre scene helmed by the Guthrie, beer titans from Grain Belt to Surly and a most bike-friendly infrastructure. From the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, it’s quick access to lush state parks to the north, beer-and-cheese Wisconsin to the east, out-of-the-way hubs to the south and purifying lakes to the west.
But once you find out Minnesota is the happiest state in America? You’ll come up with some way to trash it. But hey, that’s fine by me.