If the frequency of negative words in tweets is indicative, Louisiana is the saddest state in these United States.
Using the Mechanical Turk Language Assessment, researchers at the University of Vermont studied more than 10 million tweets from 2011, looking for the frequency of 10,000 words listed on a 1-10 scale for their happiness rating — a word like “love” gets a 10 while “hate,” obviously, is a 1 — and assigned a numeric value to each state’s happiness quotient. Louisiana did not do well, earning a bottom-feeding 5.88, just one 100th of a point behind ... wait for it ... Mississippi. As usual, the Bayou and Magnolia states remain miserable, mediocre neighbors.
Hawaii, according to the study, is the happiest state, followed by Maine, Nevada, Utah and Vermont in the top five. Louisiana and Mississippi are joined in our melancholy, in descending order, by Georgia, Delaware and Maryland. Bible Belt states tend to be unhappier than western and New England states. The study also suggests that people living in densely packed urban areas where technology has been widely adapted tend to be less happy.
The Atlantic has a nice breakdown
of the analysis, including a list of the happiest and unhappiest cities. Shreveport, Monroe and Alexandria represent Louisiana among the 15 unhappiest cities.
See the full study here
. Caveat: it’s pretty dry and academic.
|Red states are happy. Blue states are sad. This is not a political statement.