December is around the corner and snow has already arrived in the Midwest. But here’s one thing to warm you heart as you brace for the next heating bill.
Residents of some of the chilliest states are more likely to say they doing well with their money. According to a recently released Gallup poll, nine of the ten top states for financial well-being are among the coldest places in the U.S. in the wintertime. The one glaring exception: Hawaii, which ranked number one.
The other top states, in order of rank, are Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming, South Dakota, Minnesota, Nebraska, Montana, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Ice fishing, anyone? The second most-satisfied ten included most of New England, plus often-frosty Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Washington state.
The survey might be encouraging for the 2016 Democratic presidential contenders. Most of the states won by President Barack Obama in 2012 are in the survey’s top twenty.
Gallup pollsters contacted over 265,000 adults, age 18 and older, in all fifty states from January 2, 2014 to June 20, 2015. That’s a huge sample size. Your run-of-the-mill presidential polls range from 500 to 5,000 contacts.
Gallup posed questions like, “In the last seven days, have you not worried about money?” and “Do you have enough money to do everything you want to do?” Respondents also were asked if they were satisfied with their standard of living compared to the persons with whom they spent their time.
Fifty-two percent of the Hawaiian respondents said that they have enough money to do whatever they want to do. That was the highest percentage in the survey. Alaska had the highest percentage of respondents (54.1%) who said they had not worried about money in the past seven days. Alaskans also had the highest percentage (80.5%) of people satisfied with their standard of living compared to the people they spend time with. Rhode Island came in last in this category, with 69.7% of its respondents answering that question positively.
North Dakotans were the least likely to have struggled to afford food at some point and South Dakota residents were the least likely to say it was a struggle for them to afford healthcare. Mississippi had the highest number of respondents who had problems affording food and healthcare- a rate of nearly 75%.
The ten worst performing states in the poll mostly were in the Deep South. In descending order, they are North Carolina, Arkansas, West Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee, and Mississippi.
Politically important Florida, which has 29 electoral votes, was at the bottom of the survey’s fourth quintile. Obama carried Florida in 2012.
If the same poll were to be taken today the results might be somewhat different. The energy bust and consequent layoffs of workers in the industry have hit states like North Dakota and Alaska rather hard. But overall, little else likely would change. A survey by the American Institute of CPAs released last month found increased personal financial satisfaction nationwide, with decade-low unemployment and loan delinquencies 25% lower than last year.
But it looks like if you want the best chance of doing well, you might want to buy yourself a pair of sturdy winter boots. The bone-chilling north is a great place to be.
Read next: When Money Can Bring You Happiness