Friday, Dec. 4, 2009 | 3:13 p.m.
Beyond the Sun
People around the world come to Las Vegas for a good time, but a new survey shows Nevadans are among the nation's most unhappy residents.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index in its ranking of happiness indicates Nevada came in at No. 38 with a score of 64.5 out of 100.
Utah was the happiest state with a score of 69.2, followed by Hawaii and Wyoming. West Virginia rounded out the survey as the most unhappy state with a score of 61.2.
Southern states like Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana and Kentucky also ranked among the most unhappy states.
The survey measured six types of well-being, including an overall evaluation of residents' lives, emotional health, physical health, healthy behaviors (such as whether a person smokes or exercises) and job satisfaction.
The survey said its results show that residents of states with wealthier, better educated and more tolerant people tend to be happier. Seven of the Top 10 states were in the western United States, including three of Nevada's neighbors: Utah, California and Arizona.
Happier states also tended to have a greater proportion of residents with a higher education whose jobs were considered "super-creative," such as architecture, engineering, arts and design work, as well as entertainment, sports and media occupations.
States with higher numbers of artists, gays and foreign-born residents also saw higher happiness scores, according to the survey.
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index is based on data collected from more than 350,000 people.