These Cities Are the Happiest in America—How Does Your City Rank?

Jada Jackson
·2 min read
Photo credit: © Marco Bottigelli - Getty Images
Photo credit: © Marco Bottigelli - Getty Images

From House Beautiful

The pandemic has given way to an unprecedented rise in stress for all Americans. So it makes sense that people might soon be searching for homes in areas that have a “high happiness rate.” A report by Wallethub broke down the happiness scores for 180 major cities throughout the U.S., using factors such as emotional/physical well-being, income/employment, and community/environment to determine how each city fared in terms of happiness.

The happiest overall city of the 180 cities was Fremont, California, despite having a lower rate for employment and income—showing that happiness and income might not be as interconnected as most people imagine.

“Money may not be able to buy “happiness,” but it can do a lot for folks’ safety, security, and health. Each of these is a fundamental need that has major impacts on happiness and well-being,” says DePaul University professor Shelly S. Rauvola in a statement.

Other strong runner ups included Bismarck, North Dakota (2); Fargo, North Dakota (3); and Madison, Wisconsin (4). With five cities in the top 15 spots on the list, California ranks as the state with the highest rates of happiness throughout cities in America.

Although these rankings give a good picture of the factors that can make a city good or bad for your general happiness, they don't consider all of the nuances of everyday life.

Professor Bradley Brummel at The University of Tulsa urges caution when basing contentment and happiness solely on location saying in statement, “The research consensus is that location is not a key driver of happiness, but the ability to live within your means and have the experiences that you value matter.”

He adds, “So, if you are struggling to afford your house, your children’s school, or pay your bills, then living in a sunny location that is “cool” will not matter very much. Living in a place that allows you to meet your values and goals is the key.”

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