When you see something on the internet claiming one thing is better than another, it's fair to ask the question why. I'm gonna do that in a just-published ranking that claims Illinois is a happier place than Missouri.

This is the new 2021 version of WalletHub's Happiest States in America ranking. Look at their fancy map, then we can discuss.

Source: WalletHub

I'll attempt to simplify this for you. Illinois is ranked right in the middle as the 25th happiest state in America while Missouri trails at #29. It gets interesting when you look at WalletHub's methodology. Here are their categories where they pulled data from:

  • Emotional & Physical Well-Being
  • Work Environment
  • Community & Environment

If you dig into those numbers, Illinois is ranked near the bottom for work environment and community & environment but are nearly top 10 for emotional & physical well-being. Missouri, on the other hand, is top 20 for work environment and community & environment while getting dinged in the mid-30's for emotional & physical well-being.

Paint me confused. It would seem that it would be better to be near the top in 2 categories instead of in the bottom 2, right?

This isn't meant to be any kind of a slam on Illinois, but I don't understand how their numbers come out with the result they claim. That being said, I have no doubt that the number crunchers at WalletHub are way smarter than me. (Editor's Note: Yes)

Check out the full study on WalletHub and see if you agree with their conclusion that Illinois is happier than Missouri.

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