It’s no surprise that Google Trends have recently revealed that searches for moving services and the best state to live in have increased in recent months, given the pandemic. Luckily,, a national real estate marketplace, has analyzed all the research for us and come up with the happiest state of all.

Nebraska has taken home the prize! To determine the results, “used publicly available data across 10 different categories to create an index of the states where residents are the happiest, and where people may be most interested in moving to in 2021.”

Sunset over Scottsbluff National Monument at Gering Nebraska

photo: iStock

So what categories were analyzed? The platform researched crime rates, employment rates, school graduation rates, average life expectancy, sales tax, average annual sunshine, air quality, cost of living, quality of local hospitals and housing cost to come up with the happiest states. So who else ranked highly?

1. Nebraska

2. Iowa

3. North Dakota

4. Kansas

5. Maine


On the flip side, the unhappiest states were:

46. Kentucky

47. Mississippi


49. Nevada

50. West Virginia

Nebraska ranked in the top 20 for eight out of the 10 categories including crime (7th) and air quality (6th). West Virginia did not do well in the ranking, coming in the bottom 20 for seven out of 10 categories, including employment rates (48th), graduation rates (42nd), life expectancy (49th), sales tax (35th), annual sunshine (48th), air quality (48th) and quality of hospitals (39th).

Kris Lippi, founder of states,“In one way or another 2020 has been an incredibly difficult year for so many people and we wouldn’t blame anyone for looking for a fresh start in a new state in 2021. In fact, our research shows that people are already doing their research on which state is the best to live in!

––Karly Wood



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