Sun Editorial: New Jersey residents are among the happiest, allegedly

WalletHub recently released its list of the happiest states in the nation — New Jersey ended up 13th.

By Alan Bauer
The Sun

At times, surveys debunk popularly held misconceptions. At other times, surveys are just plain wrong. We’re not sure where this survey falls.

WalletHub recently released its list of the happiest states in the nation. After considering 31 categories, New Jersey ended up 13th. Not bad, all things considered.

The survey ranks the state at №1 in lowest suicide rate, №2 in lowest share of adult depression, and №3 in lowest divorce rate.

On the other hand, we come in at№44 for “work environment,” №48 in terms of sports participation, and №49 in the highest long-term unemployment rate.

What should we make of these numbers? Are New Jersey residents really “happy”?

“Happy” usually isn’t a word that immediately jumps to mind when describing Garden State residents. “Over-taxed,” “in a hurry” and “leaving the state in droves” are far more familiar terms.

Maybe we’re just being cynical, another term that can pop up when describing residents. Maybe most of us who live in New Jersey really are happy to call it home.

After all, happiness is an entirely subjective term, and one that each individual applies personally. Someone who grew up in the state, raised a family here and has deep ties to the community understandably might be quite happy. Those factors might outweigh taxes, traffic and other negatives that often receive the lion’s share of attention when folks talk about New Jersey.

What do you think? Did the survey accurately describe how you feel? Or did it miss the mark?

Let us know by sending a letter to the editor at our email: Be sure to include your name and a phone number so we can call you back and confirm you want your letter to run in our print and online publications.

Maybe we indeed have a state full of people who are pleased to be here.