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Researchers Analyze Twitter To Find Happiest Parts of the United States 160

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the alternatively-adhd-affliction dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "If you live in Hawaii, congratulations: according to a new study (PDF) by researchers at the University of Vermont, you live in the happiest state in the union — at least as far as Twitter sentiment is concerned. (Hat tip to The Atlantic for posting about the research.) The researchers — affiliated with the University's Department of Mathematics & Statistics, Complex Systems Center, Computational Story Lab, and Advanced Computing Core — collected 10 million geo-tagged Tweets from 373 urban areas across the United States in 2011 and ran them through a system designed to tag each on a scale from 1 (sad) to 9 (happy). According to the study, the five happiest states include Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Utah and Vermont; the five saddest are Louisiana, Mississippi, Maryland, Delaware and Georgia. In general, the West and Northeast seemed much happier than the Mid-Atlantic and South—with the exception of Florida, which shaded 'happier' than many of the surrounding states. While the researchers admitted their study's limitations, there are certainly a lot of opportunities for refining the model: for example, if Hawaii's status as a vacation state affects its rate of 'happy' Tweets, or if incorporating languages other than English into the dataset would affect the ultimate results."
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Researchers Analyze Twitter To Find Happiest Parts of the United States

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  • Prison population (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Dyinobal (1427207) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @12:23PM (#42956731)
    Louisiana has the largest prison population and is also the saddest place according to this study, coincidence?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @12:24PM (#42956751)

    Anyone else find it interesting that, in general, red states (Republican) are mostly blue (unhappy) on the map, while blue states (Democrat) are mostly red (happy) on the map?

  • by Bob9113 (14996) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @12:36PM (#42956855) Homepage

    Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Utah

    Hot, cold, vice, and virtue.

  • Re:Hawaii (Score:3, Interesting)

    by theakstonsXB (1075239) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @12:43PM (#42956915)
    Great point. Study claim is geolocated tweets *not* that people living there tweet. Seems that the vacation spots have the highest happiness. Who knew.
  • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @12:51PM (#42956997)
    Gallup does a "well-being" poll (the factors they use to determine "well-being" correlate pretty well with happiness). While the Gallup poll [gallup.com] agrees that Hawaii is the "happiest", the rest of their poll comes out significantly different. For example, the Twit survey from this article has Florida as above the median for happiness, the Gallup poll has them third from the bottom. Another example, this Twit poll puts Maryland near the bottom, while Gallup puts it near the top. The real problem with the Twit survey is that states that are vacation destinations will have a disproportionate representation of people who are not involved in their daily grind. I suspect That not only are people who are on vacation more likely to be happy, those that are Twits probably tweet more while on vacation.
  • by hedwards (940851) on Wednesday February 20, 2013 @01:35PM (#42957347)

    Conservatives don't value freedom. During the Bush administration, we lost a ton of freedom, especially during the period where the GOP controlled everything. The only thing that temporarily arrested the slide was that Bush managed to piss off SCOTUS enough that they started to say no.

    Conservatives value certain freedoms like the 2nd amendment, but are pretty hostile towards the 1st, 4th, 5th, and 14th amendments.

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