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Hessen: The Path to Happiness

Despite the oft-cited expression telling us that there’s no sure path to happiness, there are, at least, some trailblazers leading us in this direction. According to a recent study, one of these pioneers is the most centrally located federal state of Germany: Hessen. According to the German “Happiness Atlas”, a study commissioned by the German Postal Service, Hessen takes second place in terms of happiness among all federal states.

© Fredrik von Erichsen

This report was based on data gathered from a multi-year longitudinal study by the German Institute of Economic Research along with numerous surveys collected from thousands of respondents. The authors rightly call Hessen a “strong climber in terms of happiness”, and this has been a reality “for years” now. Particularly noteworthy is the fact that the residents of Hessen are “healthier” and “better off” than average and are especially happy with Hessen’s offers for leisure activities. Economic factors are also one of the reasons for this improvement. Hessen is among the German regions which have seen the greatest increase in disposable income (up by 1,973 euros since 2014) and also has the most significant decrease in unemployment (down from 5.8 percent in 2013 to 4.5 percent in 2018). So, who wouldn’t be happy here?

Whether or not the high per-capita consumption of regional apple wine – fondly referred to as “stöffche” by the locals – plays a role in this high degree of satisfaction was not addressed by the study. It is, however, noteworthy that over 60,000 tons of cider apples are turned into apple wine and apple juice in Hessen each year.

Come visit us for a sip or two of apple wine or a bite of our traditional Ahle sausage (Ahle Wurscht) and find your path to happiness in our lovely state!

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