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

Some states are like sunshine and rainbows—others are much more bleak.

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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

hawaii coastline
Shutterstock

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

ATLANTIC CITY, USA - SEPTEMBER 20, 2017: Atlantic city waterline aerial view. AC is a tourist city in New Jersey famous for its casinos, boardwalks, and beaches
iStock

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

river in minnesota
Shutterstock

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

Maryland
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

Hartford is the capital of the U.S. state of Connecticut. Hartford is known for its attractive architectural styles and being the Insurance capital of the United States
iStock

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

Autumn landscape in Connecticut River Valley
Shutterstock

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

La Jolla, California
Shutterstock

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

cityscape of windsor vermont
Shutterstock

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

richmond virginia skyline
Shutterstock

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

The Badlands of Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Shutterstock

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

aspen colorado mountains and town, most common street names
Shutterstock

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

Sailboats on the Charles River with Boston's Back Bay skyline in the background.
iStock

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

park city utah
Shutterstock

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

empire state building standing tall amongst skyscrapers in New York City
Shutterstock

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

the circle in georgetown 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

person sitting on a dock at lake crescent 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

sandhills nebraska
Shutterstock

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

Antelope Canyon lights and rocks arizona
Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock

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

riverfront skyline view of Savannah, Georgia
Shutterstock

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

san antonio's beautiful nightlife at the river walk
Shutterstock

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

chicago illinois
iStock

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

Luxury Waterfront House with grey shingle exterior, Kennebunkport, Maine, New England, USA. Rocky shore, ocean waters, sailboat, green and yellow bushes, trees, and blue sky with clouds are in the image.
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

iowa university with fall foliage
Shutterstock

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

Advancing towards Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska
iStock

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

downtown providence rhode island
Shutterstock

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

strange christmas traditions
Alamy

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

waterfall in hocking hills state park
Shutterstock

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

lake jocassee at sunset
Dave Allen Photography / Shutterstock

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

detroit skyline
iStock

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

aerial view of stuart, florida
Noah Densmore / Shutterstock

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

a road in jim thorpe pennsylvania
Shutterstock

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

missoula montana from above
Shutterstock

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

overview of the badlands national park
Shutterstock

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

kansas city missouri
Shutterstock

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

overview of baraboo wilderness Wisconsin
Shutterstock

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

moulton barn at the grand teton national park in wyoming
Shutterstock

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

beautiful overview of the lake and city of coeur d' alene
Shutterstock

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

indianapolis indiana
Shutterstock

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

red, pink, orange, and yellow roses with a forest in the background
Nagel Photography / Shutterstock

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

field of wheat in central Kansas is nearly ready for harvest.
iStock

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

santa fe new mexico skyline
Shutterstock

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

las vegas strip
Shutterstock

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

Nashville, Tennessee
Shutterstock

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

Oklahoma
Shutterstock

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

The skyline of Louisville, Kentucky with a blue bridge in the foreground
iStock

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

oak alley plantation in louisiana
Shutterstock

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

bridge over water
Shutterstock

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

little rock arkansas
Shutterstock

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

birmingham alabama skyline at sunset
Shutterstock

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

Panorama of WVU Coliseum Arena and campus of West Virginia University with river Monongahela in Morgantown, West Virginia
iStock

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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