Money may or may not be able to buy happiness.
But a new WalletHub report says that, on average, Arizonans are somewhat less happy with their lives than much of the rest of the nation. And part of the state’s ranking at No. 31 for “happiness” is because income is below the national average and not growing.
Average family income was put at $47,605, putting Arizona at No. 36 for that factor — and about $11,000 below the national average for household income, according to WalletHub.
“We found that life satisfaction increases as income rises,” said Jill Gonzalez, a writer with WalletHub, “but only up to $75,000 of income. And then the happiness level kind of tapers off.”
Beset by a high divorce rate, high crime and an above-average number of people with depression, it’s sort of amazing that Arizona did not score lower. What helped was all that sunshine, lots of places to visit and a fairly decent life expectancy.
The firm used data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Census Bureau and other surveys to come up with national rankings, factoring in numerous other criteria including obesity rates, commute times and unemployment. Topping the list for happiness is Utah; West Virginia holds down the bottom.
Overall, 47 percent of Arizonans questioned said they were very satisfied with their lives. That puts Arizona in the top third for satisfaction.
The state also showed a relatively low rate of volunteerism compared to the rest of the country.