California cities rank among the happiest in the United States

Is true happiness only found on the inside, as the old saying goes? Or maybe our quest for joy would be more fruitful if we were guided by another familiar phrase – location, location, location – and staked our stakes in a happy town, surrounded by happy people.

If you’re ready to pack up the U-Haul and track your bliss (or at least dream for a few minutes), here’s your travel guide – WalletHub’s Happiest Cities 2022 Report.

After analyzing data on America’s 182 largest cities across three key dimensions – emotional and physical well-being, income and employment, and community and environment, WalletHub named Fremont, California, as the happiest city in the United States in 2022. Indeed, California cities claimed 6 of the top 10 spots in the analysis.

Health, happiness, and financial security affect a city’s happiness quotient

Analysts have drawn on current happiness research to come up with a ranking system for cities. Key factors included good economic, emotional, physical and social health, according to WalletHub, a website that offers free credit scores and comprehensive credit reports, as well as personalized credit enhancement counseling and portfolio monitoring. .

A category called “emotional and physical well-being” was the most heavily weighted factor in rating cities and included things like how people rated their life satisfaction, current rate of depression and suicide, and the number of people who reported being in good physical shape. health.

Income and employment ratings were based on such things as the number of households earning $75,000 or more per year, poverty rate, job satisfaction and unemployment rate.

Finally, the community and environmental assessments took into account factors such as “perfect weather”, the rate of separation and divorce, and hate crimes per capita.

The 10 happiest cities, according to WalletHub

  1. Fremont, California
  2. Columbia, MD
  3. San Francisco, California
  4. San Jose, California
  5. Irvine, California
  6. Madison, Wis.
  7. Seattle, WA
  8. Overland Park, KS
  9. Huntington Beach, California
  10. San Diego, California

Fremont is a city of approximately 235,000 people in the San Francisco Bay Area. The median household income is $133,354 and the median home price is $1.3 million, according to Realtor.com.

The city enjoys an average of 264 sunny days per year (the national average is 205) and the temperature typically ranges from 43 to 82 degrees F, according to US climate data.

The “least happy” cities, according to Wallet Hub

  1. Detroit, Michigan
  2. Gulfport, MS
  3. Memphis, TN
  4. Huntington, West Virginia
  5. Montgomery, AL
  6. Cleveland, Ohio
  7. Augusta, Georgia
  8. Fort Smith, AR
  9. Mobile, AL
  10. Shreveport, LA

Insomnia in Detroit

The analysis highlighted several key disparities between cities that can impact overall health and well-being.

  • South Burlington, Vermont, has the lowest proportion of adults sleeping less than 7 hours per night, 28.50%, or 1.8 times less than Detroit, the city with the highest at 51.40%. The average adult needs at least 7 hours of sleep per night, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Pearl City, Hawaii has the lowest rate of depression at 12.70%, which is 2.3 times lower than Huntington, West Virginia, the city with the highest rate at 29.70%.
  • Newark, New Jersey, has the lowest number of suicides per 100,000 population, 4.65, or 6.8 times less than Rapid City, South Dakota, the city with the highest at 31.62.
  • Fremont, California has the lowest separation and divorce rate at 9.21%, 4.4 times lower than Cleveland, the city with the highest rate at 40.77%.

How much does where you live influence your happiness?

Recent research suggests that where you live has a significant impact on your happiness in four key ways, said Kristie Campana, PhD, director of the graduate program in industrial and organizational psychology at the State University of Minnesota to Mankato in an interview with WalletHub.

“The first is racial diversity – in particular, communities with higher black populations show better well-being. Social and economic quality (such as high levels of education and low poverty) also influence well-being,” said Dr Campana.

The quality of health care also influences well-being, including access to preventive health care and adequate medical centers, she said. “The physical environment also matters – whether people can enjoy the outdoors (even in the city) using bike lanes [and] parks, and when they have easy public transportation, they tend to do better,” Campana said.

Bernard P. Love