I can almost see Ultimate Happiness from my front door. From Colorado, that is, where we're about 25 miles from the Utah border.
Utah scored the best among U.S. states in a study based on the Gallup Organization's Well-Being Index. Colorado and Minnesota tied for fourth.
"Our research shows that happy individuals are on average healthier and live longer, have higher incomes, better social relationships and are better citizens," Diener said. "Therefore, aiming to increase the happiness in one state is a valid goal."
I suppose. Or you might say being healthier and living longer, having more money and better relationships, and being active in your community make you happy.
Is happiness a cause or an effect? I could see a case being made that close families (but not inbreeding) are good for happiness. Same with beautiful, isolating spaces (but not in the backwoods).
Libertarians are pretty sure John Galt is hiding out west somewhere.
Either way, I think the founding fathers had pretty well figured out the pursuit of happiness angle without benefit of University of Cambridge researchers.
In a baby book that had an entry for her two-year-old's most common phrase, my mother wrote: "I'm so-o-o happy!"
Some kids (and some states) never get past "I'm so-o-o big!"