This story was written by Kathy Morris and originally appeared on Zippia.com.
Ever wondered where in the country people are happiest?
Just like where you work and what you do, where you live can have major implications for your quality of life. We set out to find the cities where life is sweetest and the residents have the most to grin about.
We turned happiness into a science and scoured the country to find the cities with all the ingredients for happiness:
- Being well-educated (as determined by the share of a population with at least a bachelor’s degree)
- Percent of households earning more than $75,000 per year
- Median home prices
- A short commute to work (traffic = unhappiness)
- Having a family (Getting and staying married has a ton of happiness benefits, on average.)
We examined over 600 cities to find the cities that have all of the above in spades.
While some may be confused to see marriage rates included in our metrics, studies show that married people are typically happier than unmarried people. However, it is worth noting that marriage doesn’t cause happiness. In fact, people leaving a bad marriage experience spikes of happiness. However, a happy marriage and positive social interactions are important for mood and mental health.
Similarly, if you’re scratching your head to see $75,000 as the cut-off for happiness, blame Purdue University. Their study found that was the amount that met basic needs and freed people from the pitfalls of deep financial insecurity.
All of our data comes from the Census Bureau’s most recent American Community Survey.
The results? Midsized towns won out over booming cities. Apparently, happiness needs space to thrive. I guess all those Hallmark movies were on to something.
Keep reading for more on why each of these 10 places is brimming with happiness.