Bayou Blues? Louisiana tabbed loneliest state in the U.S.

BATON ROUGE — A lot of factors can contribute to loneliness — relationships, living situations, and overall happiness among them.

Top 10.com conducted a study calculating 31 metrics, including adult depression, income growth, and work hours, to identify the country’s five loneliest states. Louisiana ranked first, followed by Alabama, New Mexico, Arkansas, and West Virginia.

The state’s unhappiness levels mostly drove Louisiana’s ranking. It holds the lowest rank among all 50 states in terms of its economy, which can impact its residents’ financial and emotional well-being.

According to the study, 56 percent of Louisiana’s population reported being single, the highest percentage in the U.S. A little over 30 percent of the households in Louisiana were single-person homes, according to the data. The state’s ninth-most affordable housing market leads to more people living alone, increasing loneliness. 

Utah, Hawaii, California, Idaho, and New Jersey are the least lonely states in the country. Their happiness contributed significantly, with most states having sunny climates and active lifestyles.

The low number of single-person homes in these states also contributed to their being less lonely, with states either having a high rate of married couples or having a high cost of living, which leads to people living with roommates.

Unhappiness and life satisfaction are other major causes of loneliness. Happiness is based on several factors. To determine happiness, a WalletHub study examined 30 metrics, such as work hours, job security, adult depression, income growth, and weather. Each metric received a unique weight and was graded on a scale from zero to 100, with 100 representing maximum happiness. Louisiana was ranked as the second most unhappy state, with a score of 35.86, just ahead of West Virginia.

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