This Is the Most Miserable State in the U.S.

SOME STATES ARE LIKE SUNSHINE AND RAINBOWS—OTHERS ARE MUCH MORE BLEAK.

This year has been a serious struggle for everyone. Between the coronavirus pandemic, the millions of unemployed workers, the racial injustices that sparked protests across the U.S. (and around the world), the wildfires, and a contentious election, this year has wrought a slew of challenges nobody could have ever expected. And that's not even including the headlines that are almost too hilariously scary to be true (hello, murder hornets). But while it may seem like the whole country is unbearable right now, there are some areas that are much more unpleasant than others. This is why we've crunched the numbers to discover which state is actually the most miserable place to be.

We analyzed five key metrics, starting with the most recent unemployment rate in each state, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Then, we calculated the U.S. Census Bureau's reported average poverty rate as well as each state's level of depression, according to QuoteWizard, a LendingTree company. We also factored in the seven-day average rate of positive COVID-19 test results in each state, according to Johns Hopkins' Coronavirus Resource Center, as that is particularly relevant to how well a state is doing right now. And finally, to balance it out, we considered WalletHub's happiness rank, which takes community, work environment, and other important determinants into account. When put through our exclusive algorithm, these data points resulted in a Misery Index score for each state. The higher the index, the more miserable the state tends to be.

With all that in consideration, one state stood out among the rest for being the most miserable. It has the second-highest depression rate in the U.S. and it has one of the highest unemployment rates also. Plus, above all, it has the lowest happiness rank in the country. To find out where your state falls, read on as we rank every state from least miserable to most miserable. And for more areas you may want to avoid, This Is the Dirtiest State in the U.S.

50
Hawaii
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Unemployment rate: 12.5 percent

Poverty rate: 9.4 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 2.8 percent

Depression rate: 11.76 percent

Happiness rank: 69.58

Misery Index: 3.34

And for more places you might not get the warmest welcome, This Is the Unfriendliest State in the U.S.

49
New Jersey
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Unemployment rate: 10.9 percent

Poverty rate: 8.2 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 2.6 percent

Depression rate: 12.98 percent

Happiness rank: 64.1

Misery Index: 5.26

48
Minnesota
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Unemployment rate: 7.4 percent

Poverty rate: 7.4 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 4.7 percent

Depression rate: 18.18 percent

Happiness rank: 65.87

Misery Index: 9.49

And if you're worried about finances right now, avoid The State Where Your Money Is Worth the Least.

47
Maryland
Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

Unemployment rate: 6.9 percent

Poverty rate: 7.5 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 5.8 percent

Depression rate: 16.12 percent

Happiness rank: 61.78

Misery Index: 10.86

46
Connecticut
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Unemployment rate: 8.1 percent

Poverty rate: 9.7 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 1.4 percent

Depression rate: 16.98 percent

Happiness rank: 59.23

Misery Index: 13.13

And if you're curious where life is a little less exciting, This Is the Most Boring State in the U.S.

45
New Hampshire
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Unemployment rate: 6.5 percent

Poverty rate: 5.6 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 1.5 percent

Depression rate: 21.54 percent

Happiness rank: 53.36

Misery Index: 16.92

44
California
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Unemployment rate: 11.4 percent

Poverty rate: 11.4 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 2.7 percent

Depression rate: 14.48 percent

Happiness rank: 61.14

Misery Index: 18.82

43
Vermont
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Unemployment rate: 4.8 percent

Poverty rate: 9 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 1.5 percent

Depression rate: 22.64 percent

Happiness rank: 55.59

Misery Index: 20.29

42
Virginia
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Unemployment rate: 6.1 percent

Poverty rate: 9.7 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 5.7 percent

Depression rate: 16.92 percent

Happiness rank: 56.27

Misery Index: 20.57

And if you can't get enough state rankings and facts, have them sent straight to your inbox by signing up for our daily newsletter.

41
North Dakota
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Unemployment rate: 5 percent

Poverty rate: 10.1 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 7.6 percent

Depression rate: 18.14 percent

Happiness rank: 60.02

Misery Index: 21.66

40
Colorado
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Unemployment rate: 6.7 percent

Poverty rate: 9.1 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 3.9 percent

Depression rate: 17.58 percent

Happiness rank: 52.57

Misery Index: 21.99

39
Massachusetts
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Unemployment rate: 11.3 percent

Poverty rate: 9.2 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 1 percent

Depression rate: 19.56 percent

Happiness rank: 57.3

Misery Index: 24.82

38
Utah
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Unemployment rate: 4.1 percent

Poverty rate: 7.6 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 14 percent

Depression rate: 21.98 percent

Happiness rank: 69.42

Misery Index: 25.94

37
New York
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Unemployment rate: 12.5 percent

Poverty rate: 12.1 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 1.2 percent

Depression rate: 14.88 percent

Happiness rank: 54.86

Misery Index: 26.50

36
Delaware
Eric B. Walker/Flickr

Unemployment rate: 8.9 percent

Poverty rate: 7.6 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 5.7 percent

Depression rate: 17.9 percent

Happiness rank: 52.25

Misery Index: 27.95

35
Washington
Galyna Andrushko / Shutterstock

Unemployment rate: 8.5 percent

Poverty rate: 8.8 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 2.8 percent

Depression rate: 22.22 percent

Happiness rank: 55.6

Misery Index: 29.04

34
Nebraska
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Unemployment rate: 4 percent

Poverty rate: 10.3 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 12.1 percent

Depression rate: 17.96 percent

Happiness rank: 59.06

Misery Index: 29.66

33
Arizona
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Unemployment rate: 5.7 percent

Poverty rate: 12.1 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 6.7 percent

Depression rate: 17.88 percent

Happiness rank: 53.47

Misery Index: 31.29

32
Georgia
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Unemployment rate: 5.6 percent

Poverty rate: 13.3 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 6.2 percent

Depression rate: 17.32 percent

Happiness rank: 52.73

Misery Index: 32.11

31
Texas
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Unemployment rate: 6.8 percent

Poverty rate: 12.7 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 7.6 percent

Depression rate: 15.28 percent

Happiness rank: 51.04

Misery Index: 33.72

30
Illinois
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Unemployment rate: 11 percent

Poverty rate: 10.4 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 4.1 percent

Depression rate: 16.8 percent

Happiness rank: 50.14

Misery Index: 34.46

29
Maine
OlegAlbinsky / iStock

Unemployment rate: 6.9 percent

Poverty rate: 11.5 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 0.5 percent

Depression rate: 23.52 percent

Happiness rank: 50.12

Misery Index: 34.72

28
Iowa
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Unemployment rate: 6 percent

Poverty rate: 8.6 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 17.7 percent

Depression rate: 17.88 percent

Happiness rank: 59.65

Misery Index: 40.71

27
Alaska
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Unemployment rate: 7.4 percent

Poverty rate: 11.8 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 4.8 percent

Depression rate: 16.9 percent

Happiness rank: 40.85

Misery Index: 40.95

26
Rhode Island
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Unemployment rate: 12.8 percent

Poverty rate: 9.8 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 1.8 percent

Depression rate: 21.62 percent

Happiness rank: 50.96

Misery Index: 41.08

25
North Carolina
Sean Pavone/Alamy Stock Photo

Unemployment rate: 6.5 percent

Poverty rate: 13.6 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 6 percent

Depression rate: 19.16 percent

Happiness rank: 49.19

Misery Index: 41.33

24
Ohio
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Unemployment rate: 8.9 percent

Poverty rate: 12.4 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 3.5 percent

Depression rate: 20.1 percent

Happiness rank: 48.37

Misery Index: 41.43

23
South Carolina
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Unemployment rate: 6.3 percent

Poverty rate: 14.4 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 4.4 percent

Depression rate: 20.06 percent

Happiness rank: 48.78

Misery Index: 41.54

22
Michigan
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Unemployment rate: 8.7 percent

Poverty rate: 10.7 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 3.3 percent

Depression rate: 21.74 percent

Happiness rank: 47.27

Misery Index: 41.61

21
Florida
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Unemployment rate: 7.4 percent

Poverty rate: 12.9 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 10.1 percent

Depression rate: 15.92 percent

Happiness rank: 50.58

Misery Index: 42.06

20
Pennsylvania
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Unemployment rate: 10.3 percent

Poverty rate: 10.5 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 7.9 percent

Depression rate: 19.62 percent

Happiness rank: 50.16

Misery Index: 46.48

19
Montana
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Unemployment rate: 5.6 percent

Poverty rate: 10.1 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 11.1 percent

Depression rate: 20.58 percent

Happiness rank: 47.25

Misery Index: 47.51

18
South Dakota
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Unemployment rate: 4.8 percent

Poverty rate: 10.6 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 21.5 percent

Depression rate: 16.42 percent

Happiness rank: 58.53

Misery Index: 48.11

17
Missouri
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Unemployment rate: 7 percent

Poverty rate: 11 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 7.4 percent

Depression rate: 21.96 percent

Happiness rank: 45.79

Misery Index: 48.93

16
Wisconsin
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Unemployment rate: 6.2 percent

Poverty rate: 8.7 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 19.3 percent

Depression rate: 17.92 percent

Happiness rank: 54.32

Misery Index: 49.92

15
Wyoming
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Unemployment rate: 6.6 percent

Poverty rate: 10.5 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 15.1 percent

Depression rate: 18.92 percent

Happiness rank: 49.26

Misery Index: 52.98

14
Idaho
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Unemployment rate: 4.1 percent

Poverty rate: 10 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 23.3 percent

Depression rate: 19.14 percent

Happiness rank: 59.58

Misery Index: 53.5

13
Indiana
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Unemployment rate: 6.4 percent

Poverty rate: 11.1 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 14.1 percent

Depression rate: 20.06 percent

Happiness rank: 47.96

Misery Index: 55.36

12
Oregon
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Unemployment rate: 7.7 percent

Poverty rate: 9.8 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 7.1 percent

Depression rate: 25.2 percent

Happiness rank: 43.67

Misery Index: 55.93

11
Kansas
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Unemployment rate: 6.9 percent

Poverty rate: 10.4 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 16.2 percent

Depression rate: 19.24 percent

Happiness rank: 49.16

Misery Index: 56.32

10
New Mexico
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Unemployment rate: 11.3 percent

Poverty rate: 17.2 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 5 percent

Depression rate: 19.6 percent

Happiness rank: 47.03

Misery Index: 59.17

9
Nevada
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Unemployment rate: 13.2 percent

Poverty rate: 12.2 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 14.9 percent

Depression rate: 16.14 percent

Happiness rank: 53.67

Misery Index: 59.21

8
Tennessee
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Unemployment rate: 8.5 percent

Poverty rate: 12.1 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 6.4 percent

Depression rate: 22.36 percent

Happiness rank: 39.21

Misery Index: 59.51

7
Oklahoma
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Unemployment rate: 5.7 percent

Poverty rate: 12.4 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 8.6 percent

Depression rate: 22.7 percent

Happiness rank: 37.66

Misery Index: 61.14

6
Kentucky
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Unemployment rate: 7.6 percent

Poverty rate: 14.2 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 7.3 percent

Depression rate: 22.84 percent

Happiness rank: 38.29

Misery Index: 65.59

5
Louisiana
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Unemployment rate: 7.6 percent

Poverty rate: 19.1 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 4.9 percent

Depression rate: 20.76 percent

Happiness rank: 38.15

Misery Index: 66.57

4
Mississippi
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Unemployment rate: 7.9 percent

Poverty rate: 19.1 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 6.4 percent

Depression rate: 19.86 percent

Happiness rank: 39.52

Misery Index: 67

3
Arkansas
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Unemployment rate: 7.4 percent

Poverty rate: 15 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 7.8 percent

Depression rate: 23.2 percent

Happiness rank: 36.83

Misery Index: 69.97

2
Alabama
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Unemployment rate: 5.6 percent

Poverty rate: 14.7 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 13.3 percent

Depression rate: 22.64 percent

Happiness rank: 40.28

Misery Index: 72.2

1
West Virginia
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Unemployment rate: 8.9 percent

Poverty rate: 15.6 percent

COVID test positivity rate: 3.2 percent

Depression rate: 24.62 percent

Happiness rank: 30.58

Misery Index: 74.06

And if you're worried about wasting your precious paycheck, This Is the State Where Your Money Is Worth the Least.

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