April 6, 2009

Nebraska tops Happiness Index

Low unemployment and foreclosure rates apparently have put smiles on faces in Nebraska, recently ranked No. 1 in a national Happiness Index.

MainStreet.com said what the Cornhuskers may lack in big-city salaries they make up for in financial security, giving it the top slot in a new Happiness Index, published Monday.

In the index, -- a new take on the old and tired Misery Index, MainStreet.com said -- Nebraska ranked second in lowest number of foreclosures and boasts the second lowest jobless rate of the 50 states. It also had the fifth-lowest percentage of non-mortgage debt by income.

They don't over-spend and they're happy, MainStreet.com said.

Midwestern states that avoided a boom and a bust in the housing market tended to do well in the index, with Iowa coming in second and Kansas third, the report said.

At the bottom of the pile: Oregon. But, fear not. That only means the state is well positioned for a boost, MainStreet.com said.