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slides: New England’s Happiest States According To Twitter

Friday, February 22, 2013


How happy is your state, and how does it rank in New England? Researchers at the University of Vermont, Burlington have crafted a new picture of happiness, using the millions of data points created by Twitter.

The team at the Vermont Complex Systems Center analyzed millions of geotagged public tweets across the United States, assessing the positivity and negativity of common words in tweets to compute the average happiness of all those tweeters. The study looked at more than 300 metro areas nationwide--the combined cities made up each state's final happiness ranking. 

Three of the five happiest states — Hawaii, Utah and Nevada — hailed from the West, but Southern states generally bottomed out on the list, with Louisiana and Mississippi leading up the rear.

Want to know how New England states placed? What do our tweets say about us? Keep reading to find out how researchers compiled the list. And tweet it out. 

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Counting tweets

The UVM analysis of tweets was based on how many happy or unhappy words were tweeted. For example, words like "rainbow" topped the list of most happy words, while swear words were the most negative.

Those words that showed up the most in a state's tweets had the most influence on its overall mood. New England fell pray to a serious amount of Twitter profanity, which had much to do with the lower rankings of several NE states nationally. 

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#6 Connecticut

National happiness rank: 38

CT cities national rankings:

Norwich-New London area: 188

Top 5 words that influenced happiness ranking: 

New, LOL, hate, can't, not

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#5 Rhode Island

National happiness rank: 32

RI cities national rankings:

Norwich-New London area (shared with CT): 188

Boston area (shared with MA and NH): 200

Providence (shared with MA): 228

Top 5 words that influenced happiness ranking:

LOL, ass, damn, shit, Providence

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#4 Massachusetts

National happiness rank: 25

MA cities national rankings:

Boston area (shared with RI and NH): 200

Top 5 words that influenced happiness ranking: 

LOL, shit, ass, damn, hell

Photo: Muffet/flickr

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#3 New Hampshire

National happiness rank: 8

NH cities national rankings:

Manchester: 51

Dover-Rochester area (shared with ME): 91

Boston area (shared with RI and MA): 200

Top 5 words that influenced happiness ranking:

LOL, shit, no, ass, damn

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#2 Vermont

National happiness rank: 5

VT cities national rankings:

Burlington: 48

Top 5 words that influenced happiness ranking: 

LOL, shit, damn, ass, don't

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#1 Maine

National happiness rank: 2

ME cities national ranking:

Portland: 20

Dover-Rochester (shared with NH): 91 

Top 5 words that influenced happiness ranking:

Shit, LOL, me, damn, ass


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