The Happiest Person in America? Meet Alvin Wong, 69-Year-Old Hawaiian

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"We're very concerned about that domain," said Harris. "With the economy and other factors, people are becoming less happy at work, and that can have a very big effect on communities and the global market."

In addition to the economy, Healthways hopes the data bring help bring about major changes in policy in other areas, like education and health.

"These are causal data. These are the things that cause disease," said Leedle. "We believe that healthier people cost less and perform better."

The vast majority of Americans fall somewhere between the two emotional extremes. For people who want to move a bit closer to the happy side, Wong has some simple advice.

"There are always tough times. You get through it by realizing it's happened, laughing at the situation and finding a way to fix it. I've lived my whole life with humor in it."

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