When it comes to squeezing the most happiness out of life, the Mount Rushmore State does it as well as anybody.

In a new survey of more than 5,300 people by Survey Monkey and Comfort Keepers, a California-based provider of in-home care for seniors, South Dakota, New Mexico, and Mississippi topped the National State of Joy survey with an average score of 7.6 out of 10.

On the other end of the spectrum, Vermont (4.8), Wyoming (5.7) and Alaska (5.9) checked in with the lowest reported averages.

When it comes to age groups, the older the better.

Those over 60 averaged a rating of 7.2, compared to the 6.8 rating for those 18 to 29, and the 6.6 rating for individuals 45-60.

The survey found that the highest levels of joy are associated with having children, reading, spending time outdoors, and traveling.

If you've ever wondered about their impact pets have on our happiness consider this - of those surveyed, petless people tend to have the lowest overall level of joy.

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