What determines “happiness?” According to a study by WalletHub, there are 31 metrics that determine someone’s level of happiness categorized into three dimensions: emotional and physical wellbeing; income and employment; and community and environment. Emotional and physical wellbeing was weighed as 50% and the other two dimensions were weighed at 25% each. Each metric is graded on a scale of zero to 100, with 100 representing maximum happiness. WalletHub then determined each city’s weighted average across all 31 metrics and used the final score to rank the cities.
A total of 182 cities were ranked using this method. In the top 50 cities, most cities were found the Midwest or on the west coast, except for Florida and North Carolina. Out of the top 50 states, California has 14 cities and Texas has eight.
The Wallethub study shows that happiness is made up of several factors, including a positive mental state, a healthy body, financial wellbeing, job satisfaction, and strong, positive social connections. Additionally, moving to a new city on the list could increase happiness as well, as this study intends to illustrate.
The top twenty happiest cities in the United States are:
Plano, Texas is the happiest city in the United States. Plano’s happiness score is 72.30 and scored highest in the community and environment dimension. Plano is known for its good schools, technology growth, and being home to the headquarters of American companies such as Cinemark and Frito-Lay.
A full list of the happiest cities in the United States can be found in WalletHub’s study.