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Residents In MD, VA And D.C. Rank Bottom Half Of Happiness Scale

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By Kavitha Cardoza

Residents in Maryland, Virginia and the District rank in the bottom half of all states in the country on a happiness scale, according to a new study.

New research published in the journal Science this month ranks Virginia 28th, D.C. 36th and Maryland 40th. The ranking is based on more than 1 million U.S. citizens self- reporting their life satisfaction levels.

Professor Andrew Oswald with the University of Warwick in the U.K. coauthored the paper. He says they compared what people said with what are considered "objective indicators," including the weather, public schools and local taxes. Oswald says they found a close correlation between the two sets of information. And he says that could have public policy implications.

"I think our study shows that we can and probably ought to give up thinking of piles of dollars as the criterion for success and go over to a broader quality of life criterion," says Oswald.

The top three states where people report being happiest are Louisiana, Hawaii and Florida and the worst are New Jersey, Connecticut and New York.

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