Minnesota Happiness

Why are Minnesotans among the happiest people in the country?

Most Americans inhabit a privileged society, fortunate to have enough of our basic needs met that we can ask ourselves: Am I happy? 

It’s a question that has increasingly become part of our national conversation, with books, college courses, and TV shows dedicated to happiness: what causes it, how we gain or lose it, and how it relates to our health and well-being. Minnesota comes close to the very top of every measure of the happiest states in the U.S.—third in a recent Gallup survey, fourth according to Forbes—for reasons that begin with the understanding that happiness is a deep state of meaningfulness and purpose, rather than a passing mood. In putting together this feature, we looked into the fabric of life in Minnesota to reveal several factors that appear to be key to our happiness. 

Stories Within This Feature: