LOCAL NEWS

Utah ranks as 12th happiest state, has 5th highest rate of ‘serious mental health’ problem

Dec 9, 2021, 12:23 PM | Updated: 12:53 pm
FILE: Double Arch in Arches National Park
(Arches NP/NPS)...
FILE: Double Arch in Arches National Park (Arches NP/NPS)
(Arches NP/NPS)

In a ranking of the happiest states in the U.S., Utah is listed 12th but also had the fifth most adults suffering from serious mental health problems.

The overall happiness ranking was measured by combining six statistical categories — including a look at “serious mental illness” — to create a happiness score and ranking for all 50 states. It also measured the happiest countries in the world where the U.S. ranked 16.

Utah had high rankings in several of the happiness categories including the fifth lowest poverty rate at 9.79%, the fourth best safety score and was seventh lowest rate of homicides — 2.6 per 100,000 people. The Beehive State placed 15 in mean household income at $91,292 and was 12 in life expectancy at 79.6 years.

But its percentage of Utah’s mental health difficulties — 5.2% — was more than 2% higher than the state with the fewest percent of adults with  mental illness, Hawaii’s 3.18%.

The compilation of data was done by NiceRx that looked at statistics from the CDC for life expectancy and homicide rates, World Population Review for mean household income and safety rating and Data USA to measure mental illness and poverty.

“These factors cover a range of different topics, from health and social affairs to economic matters. This provided us with a good overview of the different stresses and strains that people living in these states might experience,” NiceRx said about its reporting.

Hawaii was marked as the happiest state in the U.S. with a 9.02 ranking when factoring all the categories. A destination for people from Utah and many other states and nations for its beauty and weather, it also features the lowest rate of adults with serious mental illness and the highest life expectancy at 81 years, ahead of second-place California’s 80.8 years. Utah’s 79.6 years placed it in a 12 spot. Idaho placed 20 at 29 years, Colorado was eighth at 80, Arizona’s 78.7 years landed it at the 24 spot, Nevada’s 77.9 years placed it at 33. Neighboring Wyoming landed at 30 with 78.1 and New Mexico’s 77.2 was good for a rank of 38. West Virginia had the shortest life expectancy at 74.4 years.

THE FIVE HAPPIEST STATES – SCORE

  1. Hawaii – 9.02
  2. Connecticut – 8.82
  3. New Jersey – 8.25
  4. Massachusetts – 8.14
  5. Minnesota – 8.06

UTAH AND IT’S NEIGHBORS – SCORE 

  • 12. Utah – 7.06
  • 18. Colorado – 6.66
  • 22. Wyoming – 6.27
  • 26. Nevada – 5.92
  • 27. Arizona – 5.84
  • 30. Idaho – 5.81
  • 42. New Mexico – 3.86

THE FIVE LEAST HAPPY STATES – SCORE

  1. Mississippi – 2.06
  2. Louisiana – 2.38
  3. Arkansas – 2.61
  4. Alabama – 3.17
  5. West Virginia – 3.19

Mississippi with the lowest happiness ranking also had the largest poverty rate at over 20% and the lowest safety score at 33.11, approximately half of Minnesota’s 66.43 safety score, the best in the U.S.

Mississippi also scored the highest homicide rate at 15.4 per 100,000 people. That is not only significantly higher than Utah’s rate of 2.6 homicides, it’s higher than Utah’s rate of automobile deaths at 7.8 in 2018 and the U.S. automobile rate of 11.6. However, Mississippi’s homicide rate is lower than Utah’s suicide rate of 21.4 per 100,000 from 2018 to 2020, according to state records.

The CDC lists Utah’s COVID-19 death rate at 134.1 per 100,000 for the final quarter of 2020 and 49.7 for all of 2020. The disease was first documented in Utah in March 2020. The leading cause of death is heart disease, that is not contagious, at 167.9. By comparison, the state’s firearm injury death rate is 12.8 per 100,000 and drug overdoses are 13.6.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

SL County Sheriff Rosie Rivera John Patterson...
Jed Boal

Three in Salt Lake County given awards by sheriff’s association

SALT LAKE CITY — Law enforcement is a challenging job these days, especially with staffing shortages and more violent offenders on the streets and in jail. Three members of the Salt Lake County Sherriff‘s Office received awards last week from the Utah Sheriffs’ Association for the excellent leadership they show in their jobs. The award […]
19 hours ago
...
Shara Park

Two members of Utah Task Force 1 help in aftermath of hurricane Ian

As the east coast continues to battle Tropical Storm Ian, two members of Utah Task Force 1 are in Florida are helping.
19 hours ago
...
Eliza Pace

LDS missionaries in Florida are safe following hurricane

FLORIDA — All missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Florida are safe and accounted for after Hurricane Ian pummeled the coast near Cayo Costa. Ian makes landfall in southwest Florida as Category 4 storm Sam Penrod, a spokesman for the church said, “At the moment, all missionaries are safe in […]
19 hours ago
FILE PHOTO...
Brooke Williams

Attempted kidnapping near Utah junior high has school, police warning parents

Attempted kidnapping in Taylorsville near junior high school is being investigated.
19 hours ago
...
Jordan Valinsky, CNN Business

McDonald’s is selling Happy Meals to adults 

McDonald's has a new happy meal for adults - with a special twist.
19 hours ago
The panel discussed how the Utah Inland Port can be a leader in solving the supply chain crisis.(KS...
Carter Williams

2nd Utah inland port audit blasts lack of ‘transparency and accountability’ in contracts

A second audit of Utah Inland Port Authority practices emphasizes again that the agency should adjust its contract agreement policy.
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Utah ranks as 12th happiest state, has 5th highest rate of ‘serious mental health’ problem