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Where the happiest Americans live: ranking of US cities in terms of life satisfaction

While money can't always buy happiness, according to the latest data, moving to a new city can lead to a better quality of life. Which US cities have the happiest residents? CNBC.

Photo: IStock

In 2023, California dominated the list of America's happiest cities, with Fremont, California topping the list for the second year in a row.

Although the United States only ranks 16th in World Happiness Report, the study claims that some US cities still provide residents with a very positive quality of life.

Scientists rely on the results of psychological studies, which show that there is a clear relationship between location and happiness. Simply put, where you live can have a big impact on your overall well-being, as Dr. Sherri Hamby, eminent professor of psychology at Southern University, notes in her study.

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“Places with lots of resources—whether natural resources like beaches and mountains, cultural resources like museums and theatres, or basic resources like health care and transportation—tend to have happier people than other places.” places,” Hamby said.

Some neighborhoods have happier people than others, Dev Dalal, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Albany, said in a study. These places have residents with a common goal, pride and pleasure.

The economy of a city can contribute to the happiness of its inhabitants. “One of the factors influencing the increase in happiness is the economy of the area. In particular, this is the level of economic equality among residents,” Dalal said. “The more equality among residents, the happier they are, as a rule.”

To rank WalletHub analyzed the 182 largest US cities, including the 150 most populous US cities and at least the two most populous cities in each US state. Cities were ranked in three categories:

  • Emotional and physical well-being.
  • Community and Environment.
  • income and employment.

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Within these categories, the study looked at 30 relevant indicators, including life satisfaction index, depression rate, food insecurity, poverty rate, income growth rate, ideal weather, and per capita hate crimes.

Below is the rating of cities: next to each indicator is the place that the city took in a certain category.

Here are the 10 happiest cities in the US:

1. Fremont, California
  • Level of emotional and physical well-being: 1
  • Community and environment level: 1
  • Income and Employment Level: 34
2. San Jose, California
  • Level of emotional and physical well-being: 2
  • Community and environment level: 64
  • Income and Employment Level: 3
3. Madison, WI
  • Level of emotional and physical well-being: 5
  • Community and environment level: 8
  • Income and Employment Level: 41
4. Overland Park, Kansas
  • Level of emotional and physical well-being: 6
  • Community and environment level: 6
  • Income and Employment Level: 87
5. San Francisco
  • Level of emotional and physical well-being: 4
  • Community and environment level: 69
  • Income and Employment Level: 8
6. Irvine, California
  • Level of emotional and physical well-being: 8
  • Community and environment level: 18
  • Income and Employment Level: 40
7. Columbia, Maryland
  • Level of emotional and physical well-being: 3
  • Community and environment level: 28
  • Income and Employment Level: 176
8. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  • Level of emotional and physical well-being: 10
  • Community and environment level: 21
  • Income and Employment Level: 72
9. South Burlington, Vermont
  • Level of emotional and physical well-being: 11
  • Community and environment level: 47
  • Income and Employment Level: 25
10. Burlington, Vermont
  • Level of emotional and physical well-being: 28
  • Community and environment level: 11
  • Income and Employment Level: 1

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