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Happiest states for teenagers

  • Happiest states for teenagers
    1/ Monkey Business Images // Shutterstock

    Happiest states for teenagers

    While depression is an issue that has been plaguing Americans of all ages for centuries, it has begun to impact more young people in recent years. Rates of depression amongst children between the ages of 12 and 17 rose to 12.7% in 2015, a whopping 46% increase over the 8.7% rate 10 years before that. It can be difficult to identify what causes a person to develop depression, especially in the case of adolescents, who face a high volume of pressure, particularly navigating the academic and social difficulties of school.

    Psychologists point to the fact that one of the biggest influencers of a person’s happiness is where they live. The varied population densities, quality of high schools, and access to extracurricular activities offered in a state can all impact a teenager’s experience while growing up. 

    Using data from Table 30 of the 20152016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, as well as the latest report from Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), Stacker analyzed the states with the happiest teenagers. The 50 states and the District of Columbia were assessed according to a selection of survey responses in the following order of importance. Note: States were ranked according to their comparative responses to question #1, and in the event of a tie, those states in question were compared in regard to question #2, and so on.

    1. Percentage of adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year
    2. Percentage of adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks
    3. Percentage of high school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide
    4. Percentage of high school students who report they attempted suicide one or more time
    5. Percentage of high school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt

    Read on to find out how happy teens are in your state and how that compares to the nation at large.

    Click here to see the most and least educated states in America.

  • #51. Oregon
    2/ Bonnie Moreland // Flickr

    #51. Oregon

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 16%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: N/A
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: N/A
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: N/A
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: N/A

  • #50. Nevada
    3/ BLM Nevada // Flickr

    #50. Nevada

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 16%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 36%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 17%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 7%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 2%

  • #49. Idaho
    4/ Bureau of Land Management // Flickr

    #49. Idaho

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 16%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 35%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 22%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 10%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 3%

  • #48. Alaska
    5/ Bureau of Land Management // Flickr

    #48. Alaska

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 15%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 36%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 23%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 12%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 4%

  • #47. Wyoming
    6/ Jeff Gunn // Flickr

    #47. Wyoming

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 15%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 31%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 20%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 11%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 4%

  • #46. Colorado
    7/ Alfred Essa // Flickr

    #46. Colorado

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 15%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 31%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 17%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 7%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: N/A

  • #45. Indiana
    8/ Michael Matti // Flickr

    #45. Indiana

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 15%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 29%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 20%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 10%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 4%

  • #44. Utah
    9/ Jeff Hollett // Flickr

    #44. Utah

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 14%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 33%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 22%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 10%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 4%

  • #43. West Virginia
    10/ Geoff Gallice // Wikimedia Commons

    #43. West Virginia

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 14%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 32%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 18%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 9%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 4%

  • #42. Oklahoma
    11/ Alex Butterfield // Flickr

    #42. Oklahoma

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 14%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 32%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 19%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 11%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 4%

  • #41. Montana
    12/ Loco Steve // Flickr

    #41. Montana

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 14%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 31%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 21%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 9%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 3%

  • #40. Missouri
    13/ U.S. Department of the Interior // Flickr

    #40. Missouri

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 14%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 31%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 21%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 9%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 3%

  • #39. Rhode Island
    14/ Peter Rintels // Flickr

    #39. Rhode Island

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 14%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 29%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 16%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 10%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 4%

  • #38. Iowa
    15/ Carl Wycoff // Flickr

    #38. Iowa

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 14%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 29%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 20%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 9%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 3%

  • #37. Wisconsin
    16/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #37. Wisconsin

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 14%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 27%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 16%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 8%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 3%

  • #36. Massachusetts
    17/ Doug Kerr // Flickr

    #36. Massachusetts

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 14%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 27%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 12%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 5%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 2%

  • #35. Maine
    18/ liz west // Flickr

    #35. Maine

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 14%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 27%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 14%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 7%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: N/A

  • #34. Ohio
    19/ Mike // Flickr

    #34. Ohio

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 14%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 26%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 14%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 6%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 1%

  • #33. Washington
    20/ IIP Photo Archive // Flickr

    #33. Washington

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 13%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: N/A
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: N/A
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: N/A
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: N/A

  • #32. Minnesota
    21/ Tony Webster // Flickr

    #32. Minnesota

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 13%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: N/A
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: N/A
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: N/A
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: N/A

  • #31. Arkansas
    22/ Bureau of Land Management // Flickr

    #31. Arkansas

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 13%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 40%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 23%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 16%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 7%

  • #30. Michigan
    23/ Joe Ross // Flickr

    #30. Michigan

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 13%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 37%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 21%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 9%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 3%

  • #29. New Mexico
    24/ a4gpa // Flickr

    #29. New Mexico

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 13%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 36%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 18%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 10%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 3%

  • #28. California
    25/ Bureau of Land Management // Flickr

    #28. California

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 13%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 32%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 17%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 9%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 3%

  • #27. Virginia
    26/ Nicolas Raymond // Flickr

    #27. Virginia

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 13%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 30%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 16%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 7%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 2%

  • #26. Maryland
    27/ Nicolas Raymond // Flickr

    #26. Maryland

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 13%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 30%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 17%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: N/A
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: N/A

  • #25. New Hampshire
    28/ Brendan Dolan-Gavitt // Flickr

    #25. New Hampshire

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 13%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 28%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 16%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 6%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 2%

  • #24. Florida
    29/ Giuseppe Milo // Flickr

    #24. Florida

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 13%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 28%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 14%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 8%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 2%

  • #23. Nebraska
    30/ Jeffrey Beall // Flickr

    #23. Nebraska

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 13%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 27%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 16%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 8%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 2%

  • #22. Connecticut
    31/ Doug Kerr // Wikimedia Commons

    #22. Connecticut

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 13%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 27%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 14%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 8%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: N/A

  • #21. Kansas
    32/ James Watkins // Flickr

    #21. Kansas

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 13%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 25%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 16%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 7%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 3%

  • #20. Arizona
    33/ Adam Jones // Flickr

    #20. Arizona

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 12%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 36%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 19%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 11%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 5%

  • #19. Texas
    34/ Stuart Seeger // Flickr

    #19. Texas

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 12%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 34%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 18%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 12%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 5%

  • #18. Illinois
    35/ Tom Shockey // Flickr

    #18. Illinois

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 12%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 32%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 17%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 10%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 4%

  • #17. Tennessee
    36/ AmeriGirlUK // Flickr

    #17. Tennessee

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 12%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 31%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 16%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 8%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 3%

  • #16. New York
    37/ Doug Kerr // Flickr

    #16. New York

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 12%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 30%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 17%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 10%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 4%

  • #15. Pennsylvania
    38/ Alexander Day // Flickr

    #15. Pennsylvania

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 12%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 29%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 15%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 7%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 3%

  • #14. North Carolina
    39/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #14. North Carolina

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 12%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 29%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 16%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 8%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 3%

  • #13. Kentucky
    40/ U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Region // Flickr

    #13. Kentucky

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 12%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 29%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 15%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 8%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 3%

  • #12. Delaware
    41/ Martin Alonso // Flickr

    #12. Delaware

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 12%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 28%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 16%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 7%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 2%

  • #11. Vermont
    42/ angela n. // Flickr

    #11. Vermont

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 12%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 25%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: N/A
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 5%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: N/A

  • #10. South Dakota
    43/ Sharon Mollerus // Flickr

    #10. South Dakota

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 12%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 25%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 16%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 8%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 4%

  • #9. South Carolina
    44/ Tim Gage // Flickr

    #9. South Carolina

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 11%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 33%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 19%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 11%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 4%

  • #8. North Dakota
    45/ Andrew Filer // Flickr

    #8. North Dakota

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 11%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 29%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 17%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 13%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: N/A

  • #7. Mississippi
    46/ Visit Mississippi // Flickr

    #7. Mississippi

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 11%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 29%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 17%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 13%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 6%

  • #6. Hawaii
    47/ Anthony Quintano // Flickr

    #6. Hawaii

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 11%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 29%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 16%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 10%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 2%

  • #5. Alabama
    48/ Andy Montgomery // Flickr

    #5. Alabama

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 11%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 29%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 18%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 11%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 4%

  • #4. Louisiana
    49/ Michael McCarthy // Flickr

    #4. Louisiana

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 10%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 32%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 18%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 17%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 8%

  • #3. New Jersey
    50/ Ken Lund // Flickr

    #3. New Jersey

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 10%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 29%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 14%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 10%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: N/A

  • #2. Georgia
    51/ Tim Parkinson // Flickr

    #2. Georgia

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 10%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 28%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 14%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 9%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 3%

  • #1. Washington, D.C.
    52/ USCapitol // Wikimedia Commons

    #1. Washington, D.C.

    Adolescents who had at least one major depressive episode in a single year: 10%
    Adolescents who felt sad or hopeless for a period of at least two weeks: 27%
    High school students who report they seriously considered attempting suicide: 16%
    High school students who report they attempted suicide one or more times: 16%
    High school students who report they had to be treated by a doctor or nurse due to a suicide attempt: 7%

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