If you’re sick of cheerful, happy people, it might be wise to avoid Hawaii or Napa, California. They were found to be the United States’ happiest state and city, respectively, in a recent study of geotagged tweets.
‘Fondness for profanity’
Researchers at the University of Vermont sifted through more than 10 million geotagged tweets from 2011 to map out the moods of Americans in urban areas. They ranked the locations based on frequency of positive and negative words using the Mechanical Turk Language Assessment word list.
Maine, Nevada, Utah and Vermont round-out the top five happiest states list, following rainbow and beach-filled Hawaii. Louisiana was found to be the saddest state, followed by Mississippi, Maryland, Michigan and Delaware. One reason for Louisiana’s low cheeriness ranking (they must not have measured during Mardi Gras) is its inhabitants’ fondness for profanity.
‘Coastal areas were more chipper’
The study, which was broken down by The Atlantic, also looked at the results for 373 urban areas to rank the happiest and least-happy cities. Vacation destination Napa, California, was determined to be one of the happiest cities along with Longmont, Colorado; San Clemente, California; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Santa Cruz, California.
The five most bummed-out cities according to average word choices were Beaumont, Texas; Albany, Georgia; Texas City, Texas; Shreveport, Louisiana; and Monroe, Louisiana. Again, researchers found liberal use of swear words to be a key factor in a city’s overall happiness score. Coastal areas were more chipper than landlocked areas, and the cities with a higher density of tweets tended to be less happy.
The research shows that social networks have a lot of promise for these types of surveys, and also that there are still some major limitations. Researchers point out that only 15% of online adults are using Twitter, and those users don’t accurately represent the demographics of the United States.
Do you agree with the results of this study? Tell us what makes you happy and what makes you sad.
Source: Heather Kelly, CNN
Image: The Telegraph