Two Bay Area Cities Top List of 'Happiest in America'

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A recent study by WalletHub set out to find the places in America where people are the happiest, and two Bay Area cities made the top 3.

The study looked at 28 "key indicators of happiness, ranging from depression rate to income-growth rate to average leisure time spent per day," to come to the conclusion that Fremont is the happiest city in America, as well as San Jose coming in at number three. 

 

Fremont ranked #1 in the nation for "community and environment," as well as #3 for "emotional and physical well-being" and #6 for "income & employment" rank. These relatively high rankings averaged out to make it the happiest place in the United States. 

Meanwhile, San Jose took the top spot for "emotional & physical well-being," #8 for "income and unemployment" and a bit lower at #27 for "community and environment rank."

It's worth nothing that both these cities are close to the campuses of many of the tech company giants, like Facebook and Google, so it's possible that high-paid employees from companies like these are more likely to be happy. However, other studies say that emotional well-being can be helped by higher income, but the effect stops around $75,000, which probably won't get you very far in the "most unaffordable city."

The top 10 was filled out with Bismarck, North Dakota coming in at #2, and fellow Californian cities Irvine and Huntington Beach landing at #8 and 9, respectively. Other Bay Area cities also made it pretty high on  the list, such as San Francisco (13), Oakland (18), and Santa Rosa (22).

Los Angeles ranked 75th, for those who may be wondering. Overall, California is ranked as the #4 happiest state in the country in another list compiled by WalletHub.

There's plenty of interesting data and category breakdowns for the whole list, if that's your thing. For example, Fremont has the lowest separation & divorce rate of any city, whereas Detroit, MI has the worst. 

Do you agree with the list? Or is the "happiest city" only good for those who can afford it?


Photo: Getty Images

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