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Happiest States List Reveals a Not-So-Shocking NY at Bottom

This Explains Why Your NYC Landlord Hasn’t Been So Nice

To those living in the South, you might be surprised that a study by the two universities found out that southern states are the friendliest in the country. Published in Science last December, Professor Andrew Oswald of the UK’s University of Warwick and Stephen Wu of Hamilton College in the US, used a combination of various measures to rank the country’s friendliest state. WebMD reports, “Researchers ranked the happiest states (plus the District of Columbia) on self-reported measures of happiness as well as objective measures like sunshine, congestion, and housing affordability and found six out of the top 10 happiest states were in the South. Louisiana topped the list, followed by Hawaii, Florida, Tennessee, and Arizona rounding out the top five. New York ranked dead last at number 51 and California fared only slightly better at number 46.”

So that can explain why New Yorkers are getting the blues every time they leave the house and New Orleaneans have taken an optimistic view of the future despite Hurricane Katrina’s aftermath. But does that mean we’ll be expecting more and more people to immigrate to Louisiana? In an interview by Science Daily, Professor Oswald comments, “Many people think these states would be marvelous places to live in. The problem is that if too many individuals think that way, they move into those states, and the resulting congestion and house prices make it a non-fulfilling prophecy. In a way, it is like the stock market. If everyone thinks it would be great to buy stock X, that stock is generally already overvalued. Bargains in life are usually found outside the spotlight. It may be that exactly the same is true of the best places to live.”

Following Prof. Oswald’s idea, we decided to run a correlation analysis on the happiness ranking and the population ranking of each state. We found out that the correlation coefficient of the two data sets is -0.31068. Therefore, it doesn’t necessarily follow that a highly populated state has clear signs of despondency. Still, the happiness ranking serves a valuable contribution to future studies and yes, even for homebuyers who don’t have a clue what qualities do the people in a state generally possess.

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