hiker walking in a mystic forest Photo Credit: francescoch (iStock).

Photo Credit: francescoch (iStock).

North Dakota. Nebraska. Iowa. Virginia. All of those states are home to happier residents than Colorado is, along with 17 other states, according to a recent data analysis released by WalletHub. Despite ample opportunities for outdoor recreation and great overall health, data shows that Coloradans aren't as happy as some might expect.

After considering 31 different factors, including things like career well-being, concern about money, and underemployment rate, Colorado was ranked 22nd among the 50 states, brought down by a very low score in the 'community & environment' category. This category included factors like leisure time per day, divorce rate, and volunteer rate. Colorado is also home to one of the highest suicide rates in the country, another contributing factor to the state's low ranking.

While Colorado's national happiness rank is somewhat mediocre, there are several big positives of living in the Centennial State. For one, Colorado tied with Montana when it came to having the highest sports participation rate across the country. Colorado also had the third-highest rate of people getting adequate sleep and the fourth-highest income growth. It's also worth noting that Colorado did place above its overall rank in both 'emotional & physical well-being' and 'work environment' categories, earning a 17th place rank in each.

The happiest state was ranked as Utah and the least happy state was ranked as West Virginia.

Do you think Colorado's ranking of 22 is fair? Let us know in the comments.

See the full ranking here.

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Director of Content and Operations

Spencer McKee is OutThere Colorado's Director of Content and Operations. In his spare time, Spencer loves to hike, rock climb, and trail run. He's on a mission to summit all 58 of Colorado's fourteeners and has already climbed more than half.


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(9) comments


We are not happy because we have been invaded by all kinds of strangers who crowd everything, we also have a tyrant Governor and a Mayor who kills ducks and geese causing algae problems in park lakes once beautiful lakes no longer are our parks are no longer clean and pretty they don’t even bother to plant the gardens. Even trash cans are gone. Denver was such a clean town. Ugly cheap apartments crammed in all over.


It sucks! Sky high taxes and fees, low wages. The worst drivers I have seen anywhere!

Jackie Treehorn

Colorado, parts of Montana, Utah, Idaho are being loved to death.


Every one, no matter what state, that has been born in the USA has won the birth lottery. We've got lots and lots to be thankful for: enough food, lights that work, running water, safety when walking our streets (except some parts of big cities) and so on. We should be thanking God every day for living in this great country, no matter what state we live in.


I agree that the huge influx of people, especially along the front range, has degraded the quality of life in Colorado. I have lived and loved Colorado for over 50 years. Sadly, I'm falling out of love with Colorado due to traffic, lack of roads to accommodate the thousands of new homes being built, crime, etc.


We were a lot happier 5-10 years ago before the influx of millions of people from other states!!. They raised our housing prices, clogged every highway and 4wd road in the state, raised rents and generally took over our state. I am a native and I'm being priced bout of my own state!!


It started a lot longer than 5-10 years ago. LOL, maybe that's when you moved in and then began to notice the influx?


It started way before that maybe 20 years ago. Letting so much housing being built on scenic overlooks in the mountains, barriers blocking places we always walked.


I totally agree with everything you said. I live in Durango and the influx of tourists and newbies has ruined any of the once quirky town.. We hardly ever go to the mountains anymore as they are over run. As I like to say, the town is now completely touristified.

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