New study finds the happiest, saddest places in U.S.


I grew up convinced that I would be happy if only I could move to California or New York. In fact, that notion was still lurking in my head when I ran across a study that caused me to rethink this belief.

Research by scientists from the Centers for Disease Control found a surprisingly strong correlation between geography and mental distress.

The study, which will appear in the June issue of TheAmerican Journal of Preventative Medicine, found that people living in the upper Midwest suffer the fewest episodes of frequent mental distress, while those in the Appalachian region are more than twice as likely to suffer such episodes.

Residents of Kentucky and West Virginia in particular suffer greater distress than most Americans, while those in Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska appear to live in greater tranquility.

And my dream locations? Californians living on the coast are about average, those inland above average. New Yorkers also experience greater than average mental distress.