American Happiness According to Twitter

According to a new study that analyzed commonly used Twitter keywords, Napa, Calif., and the state of Hawaii are the happiest places in the country. A research team at the University of Vermont compiled a list of 10,000 terms and ranked them on a scale of 1 to 10 based on how much they expressed happiness. They then used geotargeting to look at what cities consistently used positive terms and which ones used negative. Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Utah and Vermont were the overall five happiest states, while the cities of Beaumont, Texas; Albany, Ga.; Texas City, Texas; Shreveport, La.; and Monroe, La., were officially deemed the saddest—though the researchers noted the use of profanity counted against the cities’ scores. They also did a study of the use of obesity related terms (like “banana” and “ham”) and found a correlation between tweets and actual obesity rates. Also, evidently, people like tweeting about bananas and ham …

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