I recently watched an episode of CBS Sunday Morning which featured a chat with Oprah Winfrey on the subject of happiness. Oprah- -is a very happy person.

And why not, she's loaded, powerful, in love - -all the things you would think would make someone happy. And yet, she says that money and power don't make you happy.

I tend to think that people who say those kinds of things, either have never been without money or don't remember what it was like to be without everything they claim won't bring you happiness. But that's just me.

Recent surveys have reported a lot of Americans are feeling stressed about recent economic situations, but in spite of that, 50% of us are also feeling "very satisfied" with our lives.

What does it take to make people happy and can you measure it? Well, the financial and lifestyle website, Wallet Hub makes a habit of measuring all kinds of things and this time the subject is - happiness.

Despite what Oprah believes, previous Wallet Hub studies have found that good economic, emotional, physical, and social health are all key to a well-balanced and fulfilled life. In other words, these situations all make it possible for a person to be - happy.

When measuring happiness in South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa, (and the other 47 states, of course) Wallet Hub looked at a multitude of factors.

They considered things like physical health, depression, adequate sleep rates, career well-being, food insecurity rates, commute times, and unemployment rates. They even took into account how the weather affects us.

When all the numbers were crunched this is how our tri-state area fared in the happiness universe.

  • Minnesota - -4th
  • South Dakota - - 18th
  • Iowa - - 21st

You can see this complete happiness study at Wallet Hub.

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