This article is from the archive of our partner .

Courtesy of Gallup polling data, a little over a week ago Americans met Alvin Wong: the happiest person in the nation. After parsing demographic characteristics, the polling firm and the New York Times deduced that the happiest person in the nation would be "a tall, Asian-American, observant Jew who is at least 65 and married, has children, lives in Hawaii, runs his own business and has a household income of more than $120,000 a year."

After searching around in Hawaii, the New York Times introduced Americans to the affable Mr. Wong who wondered if the whole experiment was a "practical joke," and noted "if you can’t laugh at yourself, life is going to be pretty terrible for you."

This week, Times blogger Catherine Rampell followed up this heartwarming little project with an unintentionally awkward follow-up: the least happy person in America. Based on the same Gallup demographic data, Rampell produced a statistical composite of perhaps the most unfortunate person living in the nation. Who fits the bill?

Statistically speaking, the least happy American would be a 4’10”, middle-aged Muslim woman without children who is separated from her husband and earns under $12,000 a year. She’s also an unemployed manufacturing worker in West Virginia.
Let's see here: abandoned midget minority with no job, a cash shortage, and a midlife crisis--living in West Virginia presumably next door to an industrial facility. Any chance she could be crippled, too? Recently lost her dog? Had her home foreclosed while simultaneously fending off the IRS? How about a nasty dye job?
Rampell explains that she hasn't found a real person who fits this depressing description. Although she does mention that if you know someone who fits the bill "please let us know."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to