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September 13, 2016

Given all of New Jersey’s well-known problems — high taxes, struggling economy, population density, and political paralysis — it could be assumed that the loud complaining among our citizenry is indication of a very unhappy state. Whether that’s true or not is debatable, but what is shocking is that 31 other states are unhappier than we are. That is if you believe the most recent WalletHub survey, which ranks New Jersey 20th happiest among states and the District of Columbia. To create this ranking, WalletHub looked at issues such as economics, health, and depression.

New Jersey actually ranked sixth in the country when it came to “emotional and physical well-being.” The Garden State has the third lowest depression rate and fourth lowest suicide rate and consistently does well on health surveys. On the other hand, New Jersey ranked pretty low when it came to economic or “work environment” issues, coming in at 42nd. It has the third highest long-term unemployment rate. Among the other factors considered were number of work hours, commute time, job security, and income growth.

When it comes to “community and environment rank,” it seems New Jersey falls somewhere in the middle — ranking 24th. One thing in its favor is its low divorce rate — fourth lowest in the country. But other factors such as volunteerism — on which New Jersey typically rates poorly — as well as safety, weather, and leisure time brought this score down.

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