by April Corbin Girnus, Nevada Current
Today was a good day.
Nevadans are more likely to agree with that sentiment than residents of almost any other state, according to a new nationwide survey that asked people about their overall happiness, anxiety and life satisfaction.
Gross National Happiness USA, a nonprofit that describes its focus as “changing the definition of progress and success in the United States,” asked 5,000 people across the United States: “Overall, how happy did you feel yesterday?” They also asked people to rate how anxious they felt yesterday.
The survey mirrored questions that the UK’s Office for National Statistics has asked Brits since 2011.
Nevadans on average ranked their happiness ‘yesterday’ at 7.1 out of 10 — the fifth highest average score in the country. Nevadans ranked their anxiety at 3.9 out of 10 — the sixth lowest average score in the country.
But that singular day of happiness and low anxiety might not be translating into overall life satisfaction in the Silver State. In that category, Nevada ranked 23rd in the country, with an average life satisfaction of 6.6 out of 10. Meanwhile, three of the top five happiest residents ‘yesterday’ — Georgia, Delaware and South Carolina — were also in the top five for overall life satisfaction.
In the survey’s fourth category of worthwhileness — “to what extent do you feel that the things you do in your life are worthwhile” — Nevada placed a respectable 15th in the country, with an average ranking of 7.1 out of 10.
Notably, the difference between all of the highest average scores and the lowest average scores in all four categories isn’t vast. For example, all but six states had an average life satisfaction between 6.0 and 6.9.
Gross National Happiness USA notes that the differences between individual U.S. states is “minor in comparison to the gulf observed between high- and low-scoring countries in the World Happiness Report,” a similar but unrelated survey that uses data from the Gallup World Poll.
The United States ranks 16th in the World Happiness Report.
Nevada Current is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Nevada Current maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Hugh Jackson for questions: [email protected]. Follow Nevada Current on Facebook and Twitter.