Stab Magazine | Hawaii Named As The Happiest State In America (Again!)
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Hawaii Named As The Happiest State In America (Again!)

Is it the surf, or the fact that they’re 2,500 miles from the US mainland?

news // Mar 1, 2019
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Hawaii was named the “Happiest” state in America in this year’s Gallop poll, which takes into account peoples’ analyses of their own well-being. 

After beating out the other 49 states in the Union for a record seventh time (the poll started in 2008, making Hawaii 7 for 11 in these bad-boys), one is left to wonder if it’s the tropical climate and stellar surf that makes Hawaii so damn appealing to its constituents, or perhaps the fact that it sits 2,500 miles from the American mainland. 

Considering Alaska (freezing cold, also far away) finished third in the Gallop rankings, and California (decent waves, relatively warm, part of the lower-48) didn’t even make the top-10, we’re inclined to believe the latter. 

Nevertheless, one must not neglect the impact that surfing has on the wellbeing of Hawaiian residents, of which 10% of the Championship Tour is comprised (which, population density-wise, is remarkable).

Surfing is great exercise, it has a positive impact on your mental wellbeing, and it functions a societal glue – especially within such a small geographic region as Hawaii. And a lot of Hawaiians surf. 

The above are all major factors considered in the Gallop study (which also includes career and financial-based criteria), so  would it really be that far-fetched to assume surfing has played a role in Hawaii’s relative happiness levels? 

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What’s to hate? Photo: Lazerwolf

Despite all of the above, Hawaii is not perfect.

Just recently, there’s been an issue with people posting “Native Hawaiians are illegal immigrants” stickers around the North Shore.

Speculations abound, with locals wondering if the culprit is some historically ignorant, outwardly racist bandit who got hold of a sticker machine, or if it’s merely a joke, intended to satirize America’s general disdain for, and often misunderstanding of, “illegal aliens”. 

Also, there hasn’t been a clean North Shore swell in some time, which has reportedly led to widespread irritability on the strip.  

But at the end of the day, America’s most geographically removed state is its first in terms of happiness, which says as much as you want it to say.

Below is a list of the top and bottom 10s from the Gallop poll. Take from it what you like.

Screen Shot 2019 02 28 at 9.25.36 PM

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