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5 Happiest States in U.S.

Minnesota, the North Star State, comes in first

  • Jim Kruger/Getty Images

    1. Minnesota

    Topping the list of “happiest states” is Minnesota — aka the North Star State or the Land of 10,000 Lakes — with a total of 70 out of 100 possible points. The personal finance website WalletHub "examined the 50 states across 28 key metrics linked to a person’s overall well-being and satisfaction with life, ranging from depression rate to sports participation rate to income growth.” An estimated 5.5 million people live in Minnesota, which is home to five big cities: Minneapolis, St. Paul, Rochester, Bloomington and Duluth. If you are going to live here, you might consider getting a boating license. On average, 1 in 6 Minnesotans own a recreational boat.

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  • Whit Richardson/Getty Images

    2. Utah

    With 68 points, the Beehive State comes in second. Though Utah ranked No. 1 in the "environment and community" categories," it came in 24th for "emotional and physical well-being." Right now, about 3 million people call Utah home, and the state encompasses 85,000 square feet.

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  • Richard A Cooke/Getty Images

    3. Hawaii

    The third-happiest place may not come as much of a surprise. While many escape to this tropical destination for a vacation, residents living on the islands full time appear to be having the time of their lives. Hawaii ranked No. 1 in the "emotional and physical well-being" category. Imagine waking up every morning and saying “Aloha!”

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    4. California

    Whether it is the wine country, the ocean, the theme parks or its numerous other attractions, the Golden State is ranked fourth. California's 840-mile-long coast includes a great deal of diversity — from high-altitude mountains and country living to big-city living. The year-round temperatures in parts of the state make it an ideal location for many.

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  • Nebraska Tourism

    5. Nebraska

    Boasting more miles of river than any other state, Nebraska has myriad beautiful sights to see and places to live. The Cornhusker State offers a high level of "emotional and physical well-being," according to WalletHub’s analysis. You can read the full list of states and their rankings here.

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    Sign up for the AARP Lifestyle Newsletter to find out about new movies, great games and travel ideas each month. By joining AARP today, you can also save on movie tickets, restaurants, airfare, hotels and more and have even more fun!

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