16 February 2010

Happiness and Economic Progress

The map showing the least happy 20% of Congressional districts heavily overlaps those in the bottom 20% of 2005-2006 income growth and stalled life expectency gains (neither of which follow neat red state, blue state lines). The main difference is that places with agriculture centered economies are happy now, despite poor past income change and life expectency improvement.

The least happy places are mostly either dealing with a housing bubble collapse (parts of California, Arizona, Nevada and Florida), or declines in the manufacturing economy (both the New Rust Belt in the South, and the Old Rust Belt in the North), or both.

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