Researchers claim to have found the happiest man in America. He is Alvin Wong, a 65-year-old, married, Chinese-American, Kosher-observing Jew who lives in Hawaii.
Mr Wong was contacted after three years of a Gallup Well-Being Index survey asking Americans about their emotional status, job satisfaction, diet, health, stress levels and other indicators.
His characteristics and profile matched a statistical composite for the happiest person in America. He was found through a synagogue in Honolulu, the capital city of Hawaii, the happiest state in the country to live.
Other attributes that contributed to Mr Wong topping the index were his height (5ft 10in), age (65), and wealth (he earns $120,000 a year running his own health company business).
He told the New York Times: “My life philosophy is, if you can’t laugh at yourself, life is going to be pretty terrible for you.”
Other US states with a high wellbeing index are situated in the west and known for their manageable cities, outdoor life, and spectacular scenery. The next four after Hawaii were Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska and Colorado.
The least happy were poorer southern states such as Alabama, Kentucky and Mississippi. West Virginia scored lowest of all, with the worst marks for “life evaluation”, emotional health, and physical health.
“Although money is tight, finding ways to increase residents’ access to good jobs and to basic necessities – including medical care – and decrease costly, chronic conditions such as obesity and diabetes will be the most likely means to improve wellbeing,” concluded Gallup’s report.
Its findings followed other research that showed that happiness begins at 50. A study from Stony Brook University, New York, found that stress, anger and worry fade after the half century mark. Women were also reported to suffer greater stress, worry and sadness at all ages.