In terms of happiest cities in the US, cities in California dominate the top ten. While communities like Sunnyvale and Fremont rank first and third in terms of individual wages, these Western cities rank first in terms of quality of life. Furthermore, here’s the list of the happiest cities in America.
According to studies, money can lead to happiness in some situations. In fact, a 2021 University of Pennsylvania study discovered a link between happiness and economic increase even after a $80,000 annual income. In contrast, earlier studies revealed that happiness plateaued once an individual earned $75,000. However, not every location may provide the same level of satisfaction because some locations provide more economic prospects and a higher quality of life than others.
To find the happiest cities in America, we looked at the 200 largest cities, 164 of whom had data accessible, reports SmartAsset. We examined 13 measures in three categories: personal finance, well-being, and quality of life.
- Cities in California dominate the top ten. While communities like Sunnyvale and Fremont rank first and third in terms of individual wages, these Western cities rank first in terms of quality of life. In particular, the top ten California cities had lower poverty rates, greater marriage rates, and lower violent crime rates.
- Birmingham is the unhappiest city. In terms of personal bankruptcy filings per capita, life expectancy, and the percentage of citizens living in poverty, this Alabama city ranked inside the bottom five. The second and third least cheerful cities are Newark, New Jersey and Memphis, Tennessee.
- Marriage rates are high in the top ten cities. Except for Arlington, Virginia, where the marriage rate is 44.0%, residents who have said “I do” represent the majority of the population. Frisco, Texas, which ranks fifth overall, had the highest marriage rate (62.6%) in the survey.
Top 25 Places Where Americans Are Happiest
Three areas of metrics are used to rate cities: personal finance, well-being, and quality of life (all scored on a scale of 0 to 100). Hover over each city to view the category scores and overall ranking.
1. Sunnyvale, CA
Sunnyvale, California scores highest in terms of happiness and quality of life. The city boasts the largest percentage of people earning $100,000 or more (62.5%), the third-lowest percentage of adults living in poverty (about 5%), and the fifth-highest marriage rate (56.8%). The area's violent crime rate is also low (No. 9), with approximately 149 violent offenses per 100,000 population.
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2. Arlington, VA
Arlington, Virginia is in the top seven in each of the three areas assessed (personal finances, well-being, and quality of life), with the city ranking highest in the former. In particular, 48% of Arlington residents make $100,000 or more (No. 5). Furthermore, living expenses account for less than 35% of the typical household income (No. 6). Arlington is also located in the county with the fewest personal bankruptcy filings.
3. Bellevue, WA
Bellevue, Washington ranks highest in terms of quality of life, but it also ranks high in terms of resident personal finances. Specifically, 61% of Bellevue inhabitants earn $100,000 or more (No. 2), and less than 8% live below the poverty level (No. 8). Furthermore, the cost of living as a percentage of income is the lowest in the survey (28.69%).
4. Fremont, CA
Fremont, California ranked third in terms of both the percentage of people earning $100,000 or more (55.4%) and the low living costs relative to income (32.17%). The city is also ranked second in terms of the percentage of adults living in poverty (4.9%) and marriage rate (61.6%).
5. Frisco, TX
Frisco, Texas ranks first in both the marriage rate (62.6%) and the number of persons living in poverty (2.5%). Furthermore, the city ranks second in terms of usual living costs relative to median household income (29.55%) and violent crime rate (roughly 86 crimes per 100,000 residents).
6. Plano, TX
Plano, Texas is in the top 20 in six criteria, including the fourth-highest marriage rate (56.9%) and the tenth-lowest violent crime rate (roughly 155 for every 100,000 residents). Just over a third of Plano's population earns $100,000 or more, while normal living expenses account for 40.43% of the city's median household income.
7. Roseville, CA
Roseville, California had the fifth-lowest living costs in the survey, accounting for roughly one-third of the median household income. Just over 38% of the city's population earns $100,000 or more (the 13th most in the US), and less than 6% live in poverty (fourth-lowest). Roseville's county also has the 15th-lowest number of personal bankruptcy filings in the research.
8. San Jose, CA
In San Jose, California, roughly 43% of residents earn $100,000 or more (10th best) and less than 7.4% live in poverty (eighth-lowest). Furthermore, Santa Clara County, which includes San Jose, ranks second in both the percentage of residents experiencing poor mental health days (10%) and life expectancy (84.7 years).
9. Santa Clarita, CA
Santa Clarita, California ranks first in the category of quality of life, taking the eighth spot. Specifically, less than 7% of the city's population is poor (the sixth-lowest in the country), and around 53% of people are married (10th-highest). The neighborhood is also quite safe, having the seventh-lowest violent crime rate in the research (roughly 131 crimes per 100,000 residents).
10 Irvine, CA
Irvine, California is in the top 10 cities in the US for both the number of people making $100,000 or more per year (almost 46%) and the percentage of income that goes toward living expenses (38%). Additionally, Irvine has the lowest rate of violent crime overall (by far) (51 crimes for every 100,000 residents). The county where Irvine is situated is also ranked No. 10 for both the proportion of citizens reporting poor mental health days (11.3) and life expectancy (82.8 years).
Top 50 Places Where Americans Are Happiest
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