How happy is your US state?

Americans living in Nebraska, Connecticut and Massachusetts are likely to be happier than those living in states like West Virginia.

Researchers found that fewer “bad mental health days,” greater access to mental health providers, lower suicide and unemployment rates, and less air pollution are all responsible for the Cornhusker state of Nebraska coming out on top to stand.

Meanwhile, the coal mining state of West Virginia fell to the bottom of the rankings due to high unemployment, higher violent crime, less access to exercise and more “disengaged youth.”

Using federal data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), healthcare staffing company Soliant Health ranked all 50 states to see which had the best results in had mental health.

The researchers say the top states rank high in part because they “meet the mental health needs” of their residents, meaning they prioritize services that improve mental well-being.

Soliant Health ranked the best and worst states for mental health. Nebraska had the best mental health outcomes, while West Virginia fell to the bottom

The categories used to rate a state's mental health were: frequency of

The categories used to rate a state’s mental health were: frequency of “poor mental health days,” access to mental health providers, suicide rates in the 15 to 24 age group, unemployment rate, violent crime rates, rate youth disconnected, access to exercise opportunities and air pollution

The categories used to rate a state’s mental health were: how often people reported having “bad mental health days,” access to mental health providers, suicide rates in the age group 15 to 24 years old, unemployment rate, violent crime rate, disconnected youth rate, number of people between the ages of 16 and 24 not working or going to school, access to exercise, and air pollution.

The researchers scored each state on a scale, with the highest score being 100 points in the eight categories.

Nebraska reached the number one spot, scoring 85.2 points, because it had the lowest level of disconnected youth.

The researchers wrote: ‘Disconnected young people are at increased risk of developing poor mental health, with an increased risk of violence, alcohol, drug use and emotional deficits.

“This correlation is further supported by several studies showing that disconnected youth will experience higher rates of unemployment, poverty and mental health disorders.”

The Cornhusker State also topped the list for having the lowest number of poor mental health days, as well as the lowest unemployment rate.

Connecticut and Massachusetts ranked second and third for their greater access to mental health professionals such as therapists and counselors. Connecticut scored 85 points, while Massachusetts earned 81.8 points.

In last place was West Virginia, which had the highest number of mentally unhealthy days reported by residents.

The state also had the least access to exercise options, such as public parks, recreation centers and YMCAs.

And previous research has shown that the Mountaineer State also has the highest depression rates in the US. According to CDC data, 27.5 percent of West Virginians are depressed.

The CDC study found that depression levels were higher among women, younger adults and adults with lower education levels.

Twenty-four percent of women, compared to only 13 percent of men, reported having had depression.

Social factors may be to blame for West Virginia’s gloomy moods. Appalachian adults tend to have lower incomes, higher poverty rates and lower education levels, all of which can negatively impact health and well-being, according to the CDC study.