How Chicago ranks in the Happiest Cities in the U.S.

You may not realize that where you live may also determine how happy you are. Location plays a hand in how bright or gloomy our days are.

For years, researchers have studied the science of happiness and found that its key ingredients include a positive mental state, healthy body, strong social connections, job satisfaction and financial well-being. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered every aspect of American life, from health and work to education and exercise. Over the long term, warns the American Psychological Association, the negative mental health effects of the coronavirus will be serious and long-lasting.

Therefore, it’s vital for people to boost their happiness however they can, whether through family, friends, activities, entertainment or work.

WalletHub drew upon the various findings of positive-psychology research in order to determine which among more than 180 of the largest U.S. cities is home to the happiest people in America. They examined each city based on 31 key indicators of happiness, ranging from the depression rate to the income-growth rate to average leisure time spent per day.

Source: WalletHub

Happiest Cities in the U.S.

Overall RankCityTotal ScoreEmotional & Physical Well-BeingIncome & EmploymentCommunity & Environment
1Fremont, CA73.661465
2Bismarck, ND71.595523
3Fargo, ND70.949317
4Madison, WI70.1413614
5San Jose, CA69.4722175
6South Burlington, VT68.7381161
7Lincoln, NE68.35141020
8Columbia, MD67.73495102
9Cedar Rapids, IA67.64117419
10Santa Rosa, CA67.5973233
11Sioux Falls, SD67.43242312
12Irvine, CA67.27151831
13San Francisco, CA67.11315131
14Pearl City, HI66.58161146
15Burlington, VT66.19261111
16Minneapolis, MN65.98628115
17Plano, TX65.87214426
18Charleston, SC65.1043169
19Rapid City, SD65.0051141
20Seattle, WA64.74102161
21Boise, ID64.55331346
22Honolulu, HI64.451911215
23Portland, ME64.40321774
24St. Paul, MN64.31225666
25Scottsdale, AZ64.2253483
26San Diego, CA64.17303925
27Austin, TX64.13202494
28Overland Park, KS64.09411230
29Missoula, MT63.76291983
30Grand Rapids, MI63.56482016
31Cape Coral, FL63.2354524
32Raleigh, NC62.97287067
33Huntington Beach, CA62.95256498
34Aurora, CO62.561715047
35Omaha, NE62.53462636
36Des Moines, IA62.33378829
37Gilbert, AZ62.09624713
38Oakland, CA61.3812127147
39Durham, NC61.18344980
40Garden Grove, CA60.81459632
41Anaheim, CA60.81408755
42Aurora, IL60.573115273
43Portland, OR60.523541118
44Oceanside, CA60.503610160
45Chula Vista, CA60.243811154
46Virginia Beach, VA60.09498043
47Oxnard, CA60.026410910
48Nampa, ID59.97706018
49Chandler, AZ59.86677624
50Nashua, NH59.84594056
51Washington, DC59.592369166
52Peoria, AZ59.4377928
53Port St. Lucie, FL59.33867111
54Santa Clarita, CA59.264414939
55Tempe, AZ59.17844222
56Colorado Springs, CO59.07566685
57Sacramento, CA59.07525395
58Glendale, CA58.935513627
59Salt Lake City, UT58.515722145
60Denver, CO58.3227124160
61Boston, MA58.245037130
62Reno, NV58.16805551
63Amarillo, TX58.08716741
64Juneau, AK57.96188182
65Pembroke Pines, FL57.94881347
66Santa Ana, CA57.856161101
67Charlotte, NC57.79589990
68Chesapeake, VA57.749410521
69Manchester, NH57.66766549
70Grand Prairie, TX57.20859034
71Rancho Cucamonga, CA57.06933681
72Anchorage, AK56.993929177
73Billings, MT56.929025104
74Vancouver, WA56.8947102148
75Yonkers, NY56.896014679
76Pittsburgh, PA56.281004570
77Garland, TX56.247810886
78Cheyenne, WY56.08729176
79Columbia, SC56.08128445
80Tallahassee, FL55.99964393
81Nashville, TN55.931047735
82Mesa, AZ55.929711842
83Fort Worth, TX55.767513187
84Chicago, IL55.6542174103
85Irving, TX55.317363144
86Tampa, FL55.231115850
87West Valley City, UT55.238162135
88Lewiston, ME55.13130784
89Riverside, CA54.798334155
90Atlanta, GA54.7579104116
91Huntsville, AL54.70155312
92Tacoma, WA54.5966129149
93Moreno Valley, CA54.489512578
94Fort Wayne, IN54.4510511765
95Springfield, MO54.241362763
96Casper, WY54.216593169
97Lexington-Fayette, KY54.201195476
98Fort Lauderdale, FL54.129913758
99Los Angeles, CA53.9969132139
100Salem, OR53.9510835123
101Las Cruces, NM53.7211310740
102Arlington, TX53.5887140113
103Modesto, CA53.3711057107
104Dallas, TX53.3074128150
105Ontario, CA53.271216888
106Spokane, WA53.1011250125
107Fontana, CA52.961209471
108Jersey City, NJ52.888217782
109St. Petersburg, FL52.5712451112
110Columbus, OH52.48106110117
111Jacksonville, FL52.411379852
112Long Beach, CA52.3968171141
113Bridgeport, CT52.3763176106
114Milwaukee, WI52.2891162114
115Henderson, NV52.2610117068
116Warwick, RI52.071337869
117Lubbock, TX51.9311633157
118Kansas City, MO51.90102121140
119Glendale, AZ51.71107145110
120Albuquerque, NM51.048972178
121Orlando, FL50.9312997105
122New York, NY50.9110917857
123Houston, TX50.8392159156
124Rochester, NY50.52118135129
125Brownsville, TX50.2115112228
126Phoenix, AZ50.13103148158
127Winston-Salem, NC49.9213484134
128El Paso, TX49.9214614262
129Fort Smith, AR49.831587548
130Miami, FL49.82126133128
131Richmond, VA49.68117144146
132Greensboro, NC49.5112385159
133Jackson, MS49.4113115496
134Norfolk, VA49.35122160126
135Buffalo, NY49.18141115119
136Indianapolis, IN49.14115169121
137Corpus Christi, TX49.11132103151
138Worcester, MA48.92114126172
139Chattanooga, TN48.841597977
140Knoxville, TN48.661703072
141San Antonio, TX48.6114589133
142Tucson, AZ48.37142100142
143Oklahoma City, OK48.36144113132
144New Haven, CT48.1698153175
145Providence, RI47.951678253
146Wichita, KS47.87140106163
147Little Rock, AR47.5615016564
148Shreveport, LA47.5514916859
149Cincinnati, OH47.4313983173
150Stockton, CA47.13127139167
151Las Vegas, NV47.0413817899
152New Orleans, LA47.00143156138
153Louisville, KY46.5516412397
154Akron, OH46.48156150100
155Bakersfield, CA46.44160120136
156Fresno, CA46.4315473165
157Baltimore, MD46.23125173164
158Hialeah, FL46.02135175153
159North Las Vegas, NV45.9214718191
160Philadelphia, PA45.8016515889
161Laredo, TX45.7216686143
162Baton Rouge, LA45.5416191152
163Newport News, VA45.26152166124
164Charleston, WV45.1517281109
165San Bernardino, CA44.66148155168
166St. Louis, MO44.30157147162
167Newark, NJ43.97153182108
168Wilmington, DE43.90162116170
169Birmingham, AL43.87169143137
170Gulfport, MS43.8018013044
171Columbus, GA43.7217913838
172Tulsa, OK43.32163119171
173Mobile, AL43.2417316192
174Fayetteville, NC42.55171163127
175Huntington, WV42.5018138122
176Dover, DE42.4017459179
177Montgomery, AL42.3717716437
178Toledo, OH42.18176141154
179Memphis, TN40.16168172174
180Augusta, GA38.76182157120
181Cleveland, OH37.48175167181
182Detroit, MI34.29178180180

To see which states combine all the necessary components of happiness, check out WalletHub’s report on the Happiest States in America.

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