WalletHub: America’s Happiest Cities in 2022

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From WalletHub

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a third of Americans to be so stressed that they sometimes find it hard to make basic decisions. Therefore, it’s vital for people to boost their happiness however they can, whether through family, friends, activities, entertainment or work. What people might not realize is that where they live may also determine how happy they are.

Location plays a hand in how bright or gloomy our days are. For years, researchers have studied the science of happiness and found that its key ingredients include a positive mental state, healthy body, strong social connections, job satisfaction and financial well-being. However, money can only make you so happy – people who make $75,000 a year won’t get any higher satisfaction from more money. Consider also the fact that while the U.S. is one of the richest countries, it ranks only 14th on the World Happiness Report.

But not everywhere in the U.S. experiences a uniform level of happiness. As this study aims to illustrate, moving to a certain city may help you be more content. WalletHub drew upon the various findings of positive-psychology research in order to determine which among more than 180 of the largest U.S. cities is home to the happiest people in America. We examined each city based on 30 key indicators of happiness, ranging from the depression rate to the income-growth rate to average leisure time spent per day.

The No. 1 happiest city in America according to WalletHub is Fremont, CA. Rounding out the Top 5, No. 2 is Columbia, MD, followed by 3. San Francisco, 4. San Jose, CA and 5. Irvine, CA.

Interesting enough, Atlanta ranked No. 93 with a total score of 54.27 with rankings of 79 for Well-Being, 87 for Income and 115 for Community. Other nearby cities – 26. Charleston, SC (62.76), 27. Raleigh, NC (62.35), 67. Charlotte, NC (57.61), 80. Tampa, FL (55.62), 91. Orlando, FL (54.59), 95. Tallahassee, FL (54.16), 100. St. Petersburg, FL (53.39), 109. Nashville, TN (51.83), 127. Jacksonville, FL (49.89), 140. Huntsville, AL (46.79) and 147. New Orleans, LA (46.35).

Key Stats

  • Pearl City, Hawaii, has the lowest depression rate, 12.70 percent, which is 2.3 times lower than in Huntington, West Virginia, the city with the highest at 29.70 percent.
  • Newark, New Jersey, has the lowest number of suicides per 100,000 residents, 4.65, which is 6.8 times lower than in Rapid City, South Dakota, the city with the highest at 31.62.
  • Fremont, California, has the lowest separation & divorce rate, 9.21 percent, which is 4.4 times lower than in Cleveland, the city with the highest at 40.77 percent.
  • South Burlington, Vermont, has the lowest share of adults sleeping less than 7 hours per night, 28.50 percent, which is 1.8 times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest at 51.40 percent.
  • Cheyenne, Wyoming, has the lowest average commute time, 14.30 minutes, which is 2.9 times lower than in New York, the city with the highest at 41.50 minutes.

To see which states combine all the necessary components of happiness, check out WalletHub’s report on the Happiest States in America. The categories consisted of Emotional & Physical Well-Being, Income & Employment and Community & Environment.

Top 15 Happiest Cities according to WalletHub.

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