(NEXSTAR) – Happiness might only be a few zip codes away.
A new report from WalletHub claims to have determined the “happiest” cities in the country, based on factors including job security, depression rates and the frequency of divorce, among dozens of other criteria thought to affect the overall satisfaction of a U.S. resident.
The results also come at a curious time, when more Americans may still be struggling with excess stress, per an October 2021 study by the American Psychological Association cited by WalletHub.
“Pandemic stress is contributing to widespread mental exhaustion, negative health impacts and unhealthy behavior changes — a pattern that will become increasingly challenging to correct the longer it persists,” said APA’s CEO Arthur C. Evans Jr., Ph.D., at the time the study was published.
That said, the location of your home might not matter much in the way of happiness. As noted by consultants working with WalletHub itself, some folks may never be happy in one of America’s “happiest” cities, no matter how high it ranks: For instance, a nature-lover will never be as fulfilled in a bigger city, and vice versa.
Overall, however, WalletHub’s study suggests that certain cities may offer a better chance to beat the blues.
The 25 “happiest” cities, according to WalletHub’s report, are as follows. A full ranking of all 182 cities included in the study is available at WalletHub’s website.
|3||San Francisco, California|
|4||San Jose, California|
|8||Overland Park, Kansas|
|9||Huntington Beach, California|
|10||San Diego, California|
|11||Fargo, North Dakota|
|13||Bismarck, North Dakota|
|14||Santa Rosa, California|
|15||Santa Clarita, California|
|17||Sioux Falls, South Dakota|
|24||Garden Grove, California|
|25||Chula Vista, California|
WalletHub’s report utilized data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the FBI and the CDC, among others, to determine each city’s ranking. Scores were based on factors divided into three categories — Emotional & Physical Well-Being; Community & Environment; and Income & Employment — covering a total of 30 “key indicators of happiness.”
More information on WalletHub’s 2022 Happiest Cities in America Report, including the site’s complete methodology, can be found at WalletHub.