WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Delaware & Maryland rank among "saddest" states by assessment of tweets

As noted previously, the City of Wilmington has lately picked up very negative scores in several magazine readers' polls.

But the gloom may not be limited just to Wilmington.

University of Vermont researchers analyzed the happiness of tweets from the various states, by scoring ten thousand words on a sad-to-happy continuum.

They then reviewed millions of tweets from across the country.

Result: Delaware & Maryland join the Southern states of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Georgia as the "saddest" states.

The "happiest" states: Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, Utah, and Vermont.

See this article from The DAILY MAIL (U.S. edition) with a thread also to the Plos One website...


Posted at 7:25am on August 6, 2013 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Mike from Delaware
Tue, Aug 6, 2013 7:59am
Basing a happiness factor on what folks post on Twitter???
Wow, there's a credible source of news, just as bad as Facebook.

What probably makes Delawareans unhappy is the traffic gridlock that seems to be a major part of life in Delaware, at least in NCC and at the beach.

What I find interesting is quite a few folks move to Delaware, from NJ, PA, NY, CT, and the DC metro all able to sell their homes that are far more expensive and move here, buy a large home and pay cash. They move here due to the lower taxes, lower costs, and the easy access to the beach, major metro areas, and the mountains.

Must have been a slow day for the Daily Mail.

Allan Loudell
Tue, Aug 6, 2013 8:22am
And actually it's a regurgitation of a story from earlier in the year.

But honestly, I can't be coincidence that among the unhappiest states are some of the states with the greatest levels of poverty and greatest income disparity...

and among the happiest, the one Eastern state which remains very rural (Maine), the Eastern state which has become a progressive mecca and home of collective enterprises (Vermont), the land of libertarianism and starting life anew (Nevada), the epicenter of Mormonism & a unique international outlook (Utah), and that one U.S. Pacific "kingdom" (Hawaii)...

Allan Loudell

Tue, Aug 6, 2013 10:37am
A small state where everyone knows everyone; where political corruption and cronyism is seen everyday at their local ACME; constant reminders of nearly everyone in the state, directly affected by pollution (Delaware City, DuPont); a state where, besides the beaches, there is very few outdoor activities.

Are you surprised it is such a sad state? And those voted happiest also, in my opinion, and iI believe are also voted some of the healthiest states. That is the direct correlation. Those happiest states are ones where there are plenty of outdoor activities and natural beauty.

Tue, Aug 6, 2013 1:54pm
Actually in the report, it mentions that these were primarily visitors' tweets, not those of the indigenous populations. Living in Maine may be fine during summer, but winter, the average tweet would be "spent all day in the house again. 'Bout ready to go mad." Look again. Vacation spots scored high. Non-vacation spots were low. Everyone knows we have more people pass through the 12 miles of I-95 than visit Delaware in a single day. Anyone driving north, (or riding) who tweeted... "Oh wow! we're in Delaware...Love it!" would probably have their tweet registered as emitting from New Jersey...

But if you are looking for a nice vacationing spot... tweets can be uses as a guide... I'd highly recommend Vermont. btw.

Tue, Aug 6, 2013 1:59pm
As for traffic, mentioned by Mike. I would have to say Delaware, for its density, is one of the best. Don't compare us to Western Nebraska. Compare us to PA,NJ,NY,DC, LA, Chicago, in trying to go from point A to point B. I'd have to say comparatively we have far better design.

Wed, Aug 7, 2013 12:38am
I love Maine and would happily move there if not for the high taxes. Almost did move there a few years back but the cost-of-living up there is tough to afford.

Delaware's best feature is that it's located close to a lot of cool locations, but it's not a friendly state.

Mike from Delaware
Wed, Aug 7, 2013 8:17am
EarlGrey: I was stationed twice at Pease AFB, Portsmouth NH back when I served in the Air Force duringViet Nam.

I agree, Maine, NH, and Vermont are all beautiful places and would love to live there [other than all the snow]. Unfortunately what makes those states so beautiful and a wonderful place to live is also their Achilles Heel, the lack of industry. So not many jobs. Those states don't get much tax revenue from business/industry [since there isn't much of it there to tax] so the state and local governments there make up the shortfall by taxing the "dickens" out of their citizens. Balance. An enviromental paradise, but a very expensive place to live.

So as I too couldn't afford to live there and really don't like the snow to the levels they get [these folks get serious snow], choose a far more less expensive place to live, but isn't the paradise that those upper New England states are [Delaware]. When I get a hankering for that beauty, I can easily get there via car [not my preferred way], AMTRAK [a great way to get there by the way-which I prefer], or via airline.

Those states are not balanced in having enough industry, Delaware is not balanced in having too much, and too much development. Both are out of balance.

However, I'm glad there are folks who choose to live there paying those taxes so those states stay as nice as they are rather than becoming another overdeveloped Delaware. Their efforts give folks like us a paradise we can at least visit, which is better than only the Northwest states being prestine and far harder to get to for a visit.

Wed, Aug 7, 2013 7:30pm
How can Delaware be sad? They just approved "gay" marriage!

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