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North Dakota Voted Happiest State

Recent oil boom helped boost happiness rating and bump Hawaii off number one spot.
3:00 | 02/21/14

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Transcript for North Dakota Voted Happiest State
This week, the very social scientist at Gallup went prospecting for happiness, specifically, which is the happiest state in the united States? And this year, paradise was not what you think. No palm trees here. ABC's Neal Karlinsky tells us. Reporter: If you're thinking beautiful sandy beaches, perfect weather and a reputation as a virtual paradise make Hawaii the happiest state it the nation -- you'd be wrong. It turns out North Dakota is the new champion of the annual gallup/healthways well-being index. Yes, North Dakota, the state known for the movie "Fargo," cold weather and general emptiness until the recent oil boom transformed it. We met one of its happy newly minted oil tycoons on a previous trip. So these are all your check stubs so far here? Yeah, yeah. Once a month, you get this in the mail, you click and you spend. Reporter: Hawaii, reigning champion for the last five years, has dropped all the way to eighth. Something that even has some north dakotans scratching their heads. It surprises me a little bit especially that it's so cold like, how could you be that happy here? But I could see it, like, we have a very nice community. Reporter: The poll is based on the results of interviews with 176,000 people in every state inquiring about overall health, employment, education and the local environment. But we wondered, oil boom money aside, what are we missing? Is life really that good in North Dakota? There's a lot of good people here. Reporter: Move over Hawaii, North Dakota may be cold, but boy, are they happy over there. Neal Karlinsky, ABC news, los

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