Results of a new survey reveal that Alaska is the happiest state in the United States, while West Virginia is the nation's unhappiest.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index report was released on Thursday, Feb. 19, showing how happy individuals in the states are.

The well-being report is based on survey results that included interviews of over 176,000 Americans across the 50 states. The interviews were conducted in 2014 and the happiness level was measured over five categories: physical health, community, financial status, social support and purpose.

The state of Alaska was the only one that earned top ratings in each of the category. Hawaii and South Dakota occupied the second and third positions in the rankings.

Experts suggest that the latest well-being report is important as it will help policymakers understand the level of happiness of people in different states and draw plans to improve the happiness of constituents.

"Researchers, policymakers and healthcare leaders need good information about the well-being of populations that they serve. Well-being sheds light on the issues that drive quality, cost and productivity. A well-being metric also supports the creation of an action plan for our nation, in order to achieve sustained improvements in the health of our citizens," said David B. Nash, dean of the Jefferson School of Population Health.

Alaska is a mountainous region and has few urban areas and is mostly reliant on fossil fuel extraction.

West Virginia is the lowest ranked state in the report but, like Alaska, it is also a mountainous area with few urban regions, relying mostly on fossil fuel extraction.

However, experts suggest that the type of fossil fuels extracted in the state makes a big difference to the well-being ranking of the two states. Mining operations in Alaska revolve around the oil industry, which is relatively healthy, while West Virginia mines coal, and the coal industry is not doing well in the U.S.

The well-being index is being released post 2008, and this is the first time that Alaska has topped the well-being rankings. However, Alaska has finished in the top 10 rankings for at least three times since the report started around seven years back.

Colorado and Hawaii are the only two states that have appeared in the top 10 rankings since 2008. Kentucky is the second unhappiest state in the U.S. and, along with West Virginia, it has finished in the lowest 10 rankings of the well-being report since 2008.

Check out how your state fared in the latest well-being index.

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