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Good InfoOn Paper, These Are the 20 Best Cities in America... 7 Are...

On Paper, These Are the 20 Best Cities in America… 7 Are in California and 7 in the Midwest

Lake Elizabeth in Fremont, California, by Oleg Alexandrov, CC license

As the International Day of Happiness approaches on March 20, an interesting comparison of cities in the US was published, which provides helpful benchmarks for anyone thinking of moving.

Although WalletHub entitled its new report “The Happiest Cities in America”, they didn’t actually interview people to find out if they were happy. Rather, they looked at which cities provide the best conditions for residents to optimize mental and physical well being.

They compared more than 180 of the largest U.S. cities, including the 150 most populated—plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state—across three key dimensions: 1) Emotional & Physical Well-Being, 2) Income & Employment and 3) Community & Environment.

They evaluated these categories using 29 key indicators of happiness—from the depression and suicide rates to sports participation, from the income-growth rate to job satisfaction and unemployment, along with the weather, average leisure time and how many parks are nearby.

Taking all these into consideration, Fremont, California (located in the San Francisco Bay Area) is the best overall city in America.

One contributing factor is that Fremont (with its population of around a quarter million) has the highest share of households with an income above $75,000—at nearly 80%. Studies have shown that people who make at least $75,000 per year are happier than people with lower incomes. In addition, Fremont has the lowest separation and divorce rate in the country (4.6 times lower than in Detroit, the city with the highest). Fremont also has the lowest share of adults who report having 14 or more mentally unhealthy days in the past month.

California must have a lot of positives going for it, because seven of the top 20 cities are in the Golden State. In the category of Emotional and Physical Well-being, the top four cities are all in Cali.

According to the new report, the top 20 Best Cities in America are:

1. Fremont, CA
2. Overland Park, KS
3. San Jose, CA
4. Madison, WI
5. Irvine, CA
6. Honolulu, HI
7. San Francisco, CA
8. Pearl City, HI
9. Columbia, MD
10. Scottsdale, AZ
11. Sioux Falls, SD
12. Huntington Beach, CA
13. Minneapolis, MN
14. Garden Grove, CA
15. San Diego, CA
16. Fargo, ND
17. Portland, ME
18. Seattle, WA
19. Lincoln, NE
20. Bismarck, ND

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Interesting Facts:

Newark, New Jersey, has the lowest number of suicides per 100,000 residents, which is 7.9 times lower than in Casper, Wyoming, the city with the highest.

Two cities in Hawaii—Honolulu and Pearl City—scored in the Top 20, and they also snagged the top two spots in the Community and Environment category.

While the Midwest figured prominently in the Top 20 cities, no Southern cities ranked higher than 22 (Charleston, SC). Texas and Florida were not on the list until you drop down to #35 (Plano, TX) and #48 (Pembroke Pines, FL).

The two worst ranking cities were Detroit and Cleveland, with the bottom 20 rounded out by many Southern metropolises—3 in Alabama, and 2 each in Louisiana, Texas, and Mississippi.

NEW POLL: 82% of U.S. Adults Are Hopeful About Their Own Future and Their Community’s Future

“Money can buy happiness to a certain degree because a stable income is essential… but the happiest cities combine economic security with kind communities and conditions that are conducive to low depression rates and high life satisfaction,” said Cassandra Happe, a WalletHub analyst.

VIEW the full report to find your U.S. city’s rank.

HAIL YOUR FAVORITE CITIES By Sharing The Helpful Charts on Social Media…


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