This state is the happiest in the nation

By BenefitsPro


By Dan Cook

To those who are surprised by the sense of well-being described by North Dakotans, the residents of that state can only say, “You just have to experience it.”

The pollsters at Gallup report that, when state residents are quizzed in depth about how happy they are with their state, North Dakota always scores high. In its most recent poll, conducted during 2013, the Peace Garden State topped the list.

Of course, it’s a small satisfied population: 725,000, about the size of a third or fourth tier city in most other states. But they are just so darn content, Gallup says.

North Dakotans “are highly satisfied with their schools, their air quality, their ability to find a quality job, and their overall standard of living,” Gallup tells us. “North Dakota ranks No. 1 on a variety of indicators spanning economics, public affairs, education, the environment and well-being. In 2014, North Dakota is a complex, thriving state that is adapting rapidly to the economic and social factors that are transforming this population of roughly 725,000 people.”

The state, that elevated the prairie rose to state flower status and chose the meadowlark as state bird, ranked No. 1 among all states in nine key areas of well-being:
    1. Did not lack money for housing
    2. Satisfied with the standard of living
    3. Standard of living getting better
    4. Did not lack money for food
    5. Believes state economy is improving
    6. State economic conditions are currently good/excellent
    7. Good time to find quality job
    8. Good time to start new business
    9. Economic conditions in city/my area getting better
While outsiders may perceive that the state’s recent status as an oil producer has much to do with that sense of well-being, that’s not what the survey showed, Gallup said.

Andy Peterson, president and CEO of the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce, told Gallup: “Oil is a very thick frosting on a very nicely baked cake.” He cited myriad factors for local folks’ happiness, from manufacturing growth to tourism, and said all that was well was in place prior to 2009, when the oil boom kicked into high gear.

“North Dakotans are more likely than residents of any other state to say that their state’s economic conditions are excellent or good, that the state’s economy is getting better, and that they have not lacked money for adequate housing in the last 12 months. In addition, more residents than anywhere else say it is a good time to find a quality job and that their state is a good place for people starting a new business,” Gallup said.

So, if you find it hard to believe, locate the state on a map, and take your next two-week vacation there. See if you don’t come back, put your house on the market, and move to Rugby, North Dakota, county seat of Pierce County, home to nearly 3,000 blissed out North Dakotans.

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