Location, location, location.
There’s no place like home, but where it is could make a world of difference. Beyond the golden rule of real estate, a new study has named the happiest cities in the U.S. for 2021.
So how does your nearest metropolis stack up?
In its annual “Happiest Cities in the U.S.” report, released this week, WalletHub ranked 182 of America’s largest cities using positive-psychology research to determine which hub is home to the happiest people in the country. Researchers reviewed 31 “key indicators” of happiness — including rates of depression, sleep, sports participation, work hours, income growth, separation and divorce — to draw its data from.
According to the findings, everyone should get packing for Fremont, California, as the San Francisco-area city took the top spot. Closely trailing behind were both Bismarck and Fargo in North Dakota, listed as the second and third happiest cities, respectively. Rounding out the top ten were Madison, Wisconsin (#4); San Jose, California (#5); South Burlington, Vermont (#6): Lincoln, Nebraska (#7); Columbia, Maryland (#8); Cedar Rapids, Iowa (#9); and Santa Rosa, California (#10).
A view of Fremont, California, from Garin Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Park. WalletHub named the Golden State city as home to the happiest people in America.
City slickers in larger hubs may or not be surprised to see where their hometowns fell — with Chicago at #84, Los Angeles at #99, New York at #122, Houston at #123, and Miami at #130 on the list.
Elaborating upon the influence that your home has on happiness, one expert explained why you shouldn’t rush to buy a one-way ticket for greener pastures just yet.
“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,” Bradley Brummel, an associate professor of industrial and organizational psychology at The University of Tulsa, stated.
“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.”