I don't like to talk trash about my home state of Illinois, but the findings of a recent survey of the happiest states in America really left me scratching my head.

The Happiest States in America

WalletHub recently released its 2022 list of the Happiest States in America, and Illinois ranked pretty high on the "good" list this year. WHAT?

When you consider the number of people leaving this state and all of its ridiculous taxes, you can't help but wonder, what the heck did WalletHub base its findings on?

According to WalletHub, "happiness" is attributed to a person's satisfaction with their own life, job, community, mental, and physical health. WalletHub's study examined "30 key metrics, ranging from the depression rate and the share of adults feeling productive to income growth and the unemployment rate" to determine an overall "happiness" factor for each state. I guess Illinois doesn't look too terrible in that light, but still, can you believe Illinois came in at number 8 on the Happiness list?!?

The Happiest and Saddest State in America

I'm sure most unhappy Illinoisans expected Illinois to land at number 50 on this list, but West Virginia actually did. Apparently, the work and community environments in West Virginia suck royally. So, which state landed #1 on the list? Hawaii. Honestly, is that a surprise? I know it's uber expensive to live in or visit Hawaii, but it's Hawaii. Can you really be unhappy when you are surrounded by the sea, palm trees, and beauty? (I'm sure there are sad people in Hawaii, but I definitely would not be one of them).

Here are the official WalletHub findings for all 50 states in America (Just hover your cursor over each state to see where it ranked)...

Source: WalletHub

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Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Illinois using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.

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