Society

Is The Happiest Man In America Still Happy?

| by Jonathan Wolfe

In 2010, 65-year-old Hawaii resident Alvin Wong was named the happiest person in America. Wong earned the title after the New York Times asked Gallup to identify the happiest person from their annual Gallup–Healthways Well–Being Index.

Gallup described Wong as “a tall, Asian-American, observant Jew who is at least 65 and married, has children, lives in Hawaii, runs his own business and has a household income of more than $120,000 a year.”

Sounds pretty nice.

Now, four years later, the Huffington Post decided to follow up with Wong and see if he still considers himself so exceptionally happy. Sure enough, he maintains his infamously-sunny disposition.

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“If I don't have a positive attitude, then I'm going to have a very rotten life,” he said. “It's either a rotten life, or try to create a positive attitude.”

Even at 70-years-old, Wong still finds a therapeutic benefit in the value of everyday work.

"If you have a family, your family has to come before anything else," he says. "It should be the most important job to you. It's important because you are working to support your family. It's important because you're keeping yourself busy instead of just wallowing around, saying 'woe is me.'"

In 2010, the country’s happiest man also belonged to the country’s happiest state – Hawaii. That’s changed now, though, as Hawaii dropped to the eighth place in Gallup’s newest rankings. The top four happiest states in America all belong to the Midwestern region now, with North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Minnesota holding down spots 1-4, respectively.  

Sources: Huffington Post, New York Times, Gallup