Kentucky Is One of the Unhappiest States in 2021, Study Finds

All the COVID-19 can't be helping matters.

click to enlarge This is Kentucky, apparently. - Photo: Andrew Neel, Pexels
Photo: Andrew Neel, Pexels
This is Kentucky, apparently.

Kentucky is looking a little gloomy these days — and not just because of all the COVID-19, apparently.

The Commonwealth ranks as No. 45 out of 50 on WalletHub's 2021 list of the happiest states in the nation. Only Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana, Arkansas and West Virginia fare worse on the finance advice website.

To determine its rankings, WalletHub reviewed national and local data in three main categories:

  • emotional and physical well-being, which includes metrics such as depression, sleep and life expectancy;
  • work environment, which looks at commute, unemployment and job satisfaction;
  • and community and environment, focusing on volunteerism, weather and safety.

Kentucky is in the bottom half of all states for all three categories but fares worst in emotional and physical well-being, ending up at No. 47. The Commonwealth is No. 26 for community and environment and No. 32 for work environment.

There's more bad news for Kentucky. According to WalletHub, the state is No. 49 for the number of adults with depression, No. 48 for adequate sleep and is tied with Louisiana at No. 47 for the lowest sports participation rate.

Ohio isn't doing quite as badly as Kentucky, landing at No. 39 on WalletHub's overall happiness list. But Ohio ranks at No. 40 for emotional and physical well-being, No. 37 for work environment and No. 25 for community and environment. The Buckeye State also is sleep-deprived, coming in at No. 46 for getting a good night's rest.

The happiest state in the country? WalletHub says it's Utah, which ranks as No. 1 in work and community environments and No. 9 in well-being.

Read WalletHub's full 2021 ranking of the happiest and unhappiest states.

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