Happiness can seem an elusive concept (especially with 2017 being, well, an actual garbage fire). But it turns out you may be able to increase your odds of happiness by living in certain cities. The good people at National Geographic went on a mission to discover which cities in the United States were the happiest (and least happy)—and the results may surprise you.
National Geographic best-selling author Dan Buettner and social scientists from Gallup put together an index that looked at criteria like healthy eating, financial security and vacation time—aka measurable expressions of happiness—and combined that with nearly 250,000 interviews of adults in more than 190 metropolitan areas. And the happiest city in the US is (drumroll, please): Boulder, Colorado. “Bolstered by a sense of community, access to nature, sustainable urban development and preservation policies, and perhaps even that clean mountain air, Boulderites overwhelmingly feel ‘active and productive every day,'” the research says. Other top rankers are Austin, Texas, and San Diego, California.
Cities that rank at the bottom of the index: Charleston, West Virginia; Fort Smith, Arkansas; and Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, North Carolina.
We don’t know about you, but we’re thinking a change of scenery could be in order. Boulder, get ready for us.