Ethanol Contributes to Happiness

Cindy Zimmerman

Three of the nation’s top ethanol producing states – Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas – are also the top three financially happiest states in the nation.

According to’s new Happiness Index – which used unemployment figures, foreclosures and non-mortgage debt to determine a state’s overall financial well being – the Cornhusker state is the happiest place to live. The index found that Nebraska has the second lowest unemployment rate in the country at 4.2% and the second lowest number of foreclosures nationwide.

Nebraska’s overall “Happiness Index Value” was 9 – the lower the better – which far outranked number two Iowa with a value of 25 and number three Kansas with a value of 34.

Ethanol production got some of the credit for Nebraska’s happiness in a Good Morning America story aired on Monday morning, which noted that Nebraska’s “ethanol plants, in particular, have flourished and the ongoing effort to grow industry has enabled people who lose jobs to find new ones relatively easily.”