We are a sad, sad people, according to a recent study by the Cambridge-based National Bureau of Economic Research.
The study (available here) ranked American regions based on self-reported “happiness” levels.
Massachusetts did not do well.
Springfield was one of the unhappiest regions in America. Only seven parts of the country were determined to be sadder than Springfield: Scranton, Pennsylvania; St. Joseph, Missouri; Erie, Pennsylvania; South Bend, Indiana; Jersey City, New Jersey; Johnstown, Pennsylvania; and “non-metropolitan West Virginia.”
“I get sad just driving through Springfield,” said a person who may or may not be a member of the Boston.com newsroom.
Depressed Springfieldians—yes, that’s what they’re called—may want to consider moving to Charlottesville, Virginia, which ranked as the happiest region in the country.
As for Boston: while we aren’t as sad as Springfield, we did rank 284 out of 367.
Three of the six New England states—Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island—tended to be on the sad side. But Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine had smiles on their faces, possibly because that’s where residents of the sadder regions spend their weekends.
One thing that might give Boston a happiness boost: we did better than New York, which came in dead last in cities with more than 1 million people.