Where in America Are Women Most Depressed?

Nope, we're not surprised that the islands that make up Hawaii are the happiest places to be in America.

Named the best island in the world by Conde Nast Traveler, Maui, Hawaii, averages 131 clear and sunny days every year. Portland, Ore., on the other hand, has blue skies only 68 times a year (that's about six times a month). So it’s no surprise that the better weather state is also the happier one. Of course, weather patterns alone aren’t to blame for the blues, but according to our research, sunny coastal states have lower rates of depression than those inland. So why aren’t we all plotting a move to Hawaii?

Depression affects women about 1.5 times more than men. More than having the blues, symptoms of depression include feeling sad, hopeless, tired, unable to concentrate, overeating or under eating and, in severe cases, having suicidal thoughts.

Here are the state rankings for depression: #1 is happiest and #50 is the most depressed. The numbers below represent the percentage of women who have been diagnosed with depression.

Rank State %
1 Hawaii 12.1
2 New Jersey 12.9
3 California 15.1
4 Maryland 17
5 Georgia 17.5
6 Virginia 17.6
7 Delaware 17.8
8 New York 18.2
9 Minnesota 18.7
10 Wisconsin 18.8
11 Connecticut 19.3
12 Massachusetts 19.6
13 South Carolina 19.9
14 Nevada 20
15 Iowa 20.2
15 Kansas 20.2
17 Florida 20.3
17 Illinois 20.3
19 South Dakota 20.7
20 Ohio 21.4
21 Louisiana 21.6
22 Texas 21.7
23 North Carolina 21.8
24 Nebraska 22
25 Colorado 22.4
26 Tennessee 23
27 Arizona 23.1
28 Mississippi 23.2
29 North Dakota 23.4
30 Pennsylvania 23.6
31 Alaska 23.7
32 Kentucky 23.9
33 Wyoming 24.3
34 Missouri 24.4
34 West Virginia 24.4
36 New Mexico 24.7
37 New Hampshire 24.9
38 Alabama 25
39 Montana 25.1
40 Michigan 25.6
40 Washington 25.6
42 Oklahoma 25.8
42 Rhode Island 25.8
44 Indiana 26.3
45 Idaho 26.6
46 Vermont 27.4
47 Arkansas 28.2
48 Utah 28.4
49 Maine 29.6
50 Oregon 30.6

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011

See the State of Women methodology and sources.

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