The last year and a half were challenging. COVID-19 brought the States a lot of unprecedented difficulties that many are still facing today. While the pandemic has seemingly died down a bit, people still face a lot of stressors.

Luckily, Minnesotans combat those stressors well, or at least they do compared to other states.

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Last month, WalletHub conducted a 'happiness' study and found that Minnesota is the second happiest state in the country.

Curious who beat us out for first? I was too, but before we get into that, let's take a peek at what factors contribute to our state's overall score.

  • Emotional & Physical Well-Being accounted for 50% of states' overall scores
  • Work Environment contributed for 25% of the scores
  • Community & Environment accounted for the last 25% 

WalletHub collected data from the following sources to complete this study:

"U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Feeding America, Corporation for National and Community Service, Gallup, Brandwatch, TransUnion, Minnesota Population Center - University of Minnesota, The Annie E. Casey Foundation, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, County Health Rankings and WalletHub research."

Minnesota had an overall score of 67.52. We ranked second in the emotional & physical well-being category, fourth in the work environment category, and ninth in the community & environment category. 

Pretty good if I say so myself.

So, what state is the happiest if it's not Minnesota?

Utah! Utah ended with a score of 72.94. Though they ranked ninth in the emotional & psychical well-being section, they ranked first in the last two categories. 

Our neighboring states ranked decently too! North Dakota came in 5th, and South Dakota was directly behind them in 6th. Down ten more spots were Iowa and Wisconsin at 15th and 16th. 

So, when life gets you down, just remember at least we don't live in Wisconsin. 

Keep scrolling to see 25 places in Minnesota that are especially cheery!

The 25 Best Places to Live in Minnesota

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in Minnesota using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from realtor.com.

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.