Happiest States Survey: Happiness Not Always Reflected in Social Media Posts

A recent study by researchers at the University of Vermont took a look at geotagged tweets and broke down the content to find which state’s Twitter users were the happiest. The study took various keywords into account. For example, words like “mad” and “hate” would be considered unhappy, while “LOL” and “haha” would be considered happy. So how well do these tweets and social media posts actually represent how happy people are?

us states

Happiest States

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, the states with the respondents who rated their own overall happiness higher than others (on a scale of 1-10) were South Dakota (9), Kansas (8.8), Mississippi (8.5), Iowa (8.3), and Rhode Island (8.3). The states that had respondents who said they are happiest with the place they live were South Dakota (9), Rhode Island (8.5), Nebraska (8.3), Kansas (8.3), and Iowa (8.3).

Unhappy States

The states with respondents who rated their own happiness lower than others were Vermont (5), Nevada (5.3), North Dakota (5.5), Tennessee (5.8), Michigan (5.9), and Massachusetts (5.9). The states with respondents who rated their happiness with their home state lower than others were Vermont (4), Oklahoma (5), North Dakota (5.5), and South Carolina (5.5). Most states with larger sample sizes fell between 6 and 8 for both overall happiness and happiness with their home state.

Social Media Posts

In general, 25% of respondents said that they often post on social media. Another 37% said they sometimes post on social media. 22% said they rarely post on social media. And 17% said they never do.

Of those who post on social media, just 9% said that their posts always accurately reflect their level of happiness. 35% said their social media posts accurately reflect their happiness most of the time. 23% said their posts reflect their happiness level about half the time. 21% said their happiness is rarely reflected in their social media posts. And 13% said that their posts never accurately reflect their happiness level.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Hammond’s Map of the US from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on February 22 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.