Arkansas at bottom of list of happiest states in U.S.

    8:26 PM, Mar 8, 2011   |    comments
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    The Constitution guarantees Americans the right to pursue happiness, but a recent study shows Arkansas is barely in the running.

    Placing 48th out of 51, Arkansas is among the most unhappy states in the country.

    Dr. Terry Richard, Sociology professor at UALR, says the economy in Arkansas may have triggered a feeling of unhappiness.

    "We're in a very tough period, an era in our society where the overall happiness is not going to be as high as it was in the past or will be in the future," says Richard.

    The study looked at several categories of wellbeing including physical and emotional health as well as work environment.

    "Satisfaction with work is a critical variable. Those are really the indicators we look at to figure out if someone is going to be happy," says Richard.

    And how much Americans bring home from that job is also a huge factor.

    The South, traditionally known for having the lowest household income averages, covered the bottom of the list.

    "Generally, the more money you have, the happier you tend to be because there is less stress," says Richard.

    So what about that age old adage?

    "Does money buy happiness? Not always, but it is a contributing factor, "says Richard.

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