Louisiana and Mississippi 'saddest states' according to Twitter posts

Friday, February 22, 2013 - 10:09pm

Do you want to escape to a place where everyone is happy?  Consider Hawaii or Napa, California. A recent  examination of location geotagged tweets show they are the happiest state and city in the United States, respectively.

The results showed Louisiana is the 'saddest state,' mainly due to its citizens' rapid use of explicit content.  Louisiana is proceeded by Mississippi, Maryland, Michigan and Delaware, scoring on the low end of the scale.  Hawaii is the happiest, along with Maine, Nevada, Utah, and Vermont landing on the high end of the scale.

University of Vermont researchers filtered through more than 10 million location tagged tweets from 2011. They used the Mechanical Turk Language Assessment word list, in relation to positive and negative words ulitized in tweets by Americans in urban areas.

The words were gaged on a one to ten scale from the list. The high end of the scale are positive words like "lol," "good," "nice," "well," with "rainbow" being the most positive.  The low end of the scale were negative words such as "smoke," "jail," "hate," "mad" and "earthquake" being the most negative, along with different variations of profanity.

The study concludes cities with higher technology concession levels tend to be less happy due to the fact that most tweets come from high tech phones. However, Twitter posts tend to be more negative in areas where people suffer from higher obesity rates.

The biggest obsticle is that only 15% of online patrons have an account and post to Twitter; therefore, it is a vague statistical representation of the the United States.

When the 2010 Census data is revealed later this year, the group intends on taking it further, diving into tweets once again for more research.

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