To aid in a new study, a group of mathematicians at the University of VermontBurlington, created a tool that collects public messages from popular social networking site Twitter in order to gauge happiness based on location.

The tool, called the “hedonometer,” collected 10 million tweets with user locations attached from 373 urban areas. From there, tweets were scanned for words that invoked happiness or sadness.

In order to properly associate words with particular emotions, the mathematicians enlisted 10,000 users of Amazon’s crowdsourcing service, Mechanical Turk, to assess 5,000 common words. While the results rated curse words and words such as “hate” or “wrong” as sad, the slang acronym “lol” and words such as “funny” and “sleep” were associated with happiness.

LiveScience noted that happiness seemed to correlate with income and obesity rates. States in the western half of the country rated much happier than their eastern counterparts; the exceptions being Florida and states in the Northeast, where residents earn higher incomes on average.

However, the study noted that the demographics of Twitter limit the representation of many populations.

“Only 15 percent of online adults regularly use Twitter, and 18-29 year olds and minorities tend to be more highly represented on Twitter than in the general population,” wrote the study’s authors in their full analysis.

Tweet Happiness Map

The 15 Happiest Cities in the United States:

  • Napa, California
  • Longmont, Colorado
  • San Clemente, California
  • Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Santa Cruz, California
  • Green Bay, Wisconsin
  • Santa Rosa, California
  • Simi Valley, California
  • Lafayette, Colorado
  • Asheville, North Carolina
  • Spokane, Washington
  • Boulder, Colorado
  • Fort Collins, Colorado
  • Santa Barbara, California
  • San Jose, California

The 15 Saddest Cities in the United States:

  • Beaumont, Texas
  • Albany, Georgia
  • Texas City, Texas
  • Shreveport, Louisiana
  • Monroe, Louisiana
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Battle Creek, Michigan
  • Flint, Michigan
  • Lima, Ohio
  • Houma, Louisiana
  • Waterbury, Connecticut
  • Alexandria, Louisiana
  • Port Arthur, Texas
  • Montgomery, Alabama
  • Dothan, Alabama

The Happiest States (including Washington DC):

1. Hawaii
2. Maine
3. Nevada
4. Utah
5. Vermont
6. Colorado
7. Idaho
8. New Hampshire
9. Washington
10. Wyoming
11. Minnesota
12. Arizona
13. California
14. Florida
15. New York
16. New Mexico
17. Iowa
18. Oregon
19. North Dakota
20. Nebraska
21. Wisconsin
22. Kansas
23. Alaska
24. Oklahoma
25. Massachusetts
26. Montana
27. Missouri
28. Kentucky
29. New Jersey
30. West Virginia
31. Illinois
32. Rhode Island
33. Indiana
34. Texas
35. South Dakota
36. Virginia
37. Tennessee
38. Connecticut
39. Pennsylvania
40. South Carolina
41. North Carolina
42. Ohio
43. Arkansas
44. District of Columbia
45. Michigan
46. Alabama
47. Georgia
48. Delaware
49. Maryland
50. Mississippi
51 Louisiana