Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Wed Feb 17th 2010 at 12:50pm UTC

Happy Cities

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Silicon Valley is America’s happiest big metro-region and Washington, D.C. is second, according to a new survey of America’s 52 largest metro regions by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

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The Gallup-Healthways data breaks down well-being into six main categories. Greater D.C. leads in life evaluation. The Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul lead in two categories – emotional health and basic access. Silicon Valley takes first place in two categories as well – physical health and healthy behavior.

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That said, Boulder tops the list of small- and medium-size city-regions – and posts the highest happiness index score of any metro. Holland, Michigan; Honolulu, Hawaii; Provo, Utah; and Santa Rosa and Santa Barbara, California also post higher scores than any of the larger regions.

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The most unhappy metros are mainly housing-dependent Sunbelt cities of sand and Rustbelt locations that have been hard-hit by the Great Reset. Las Vegas has the dubious distinction of being America’s unhappiest large metro.

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4 Responses to “Happy Cities”

  1. Mike L. Says:

    [Humor alert!] Is that the same San Jose which is situated on the San Andreas fault line and located in a State with the highest tax rates? Perhaps San Jose is also down-wind from Haight-Ashbury!

  2. Daniel Carins Says:

    Doesn’t Minneapolis score poorly in “Who’s Your City” because of having expensive health care? And yet there it is top of the Emotional Health sub index.

    The New Economics Foundation have a “happy planet index” http://www.happyplanetindex.org/ which is interesting.

  3. SmartRegion.org » Hampton Roads is Happy, says Gallup Says:

    [...] is a “happy” day, as is most every day in Hampton Roads. At least, that’s according to Richard Florida’s Creative Class project which reports that the Hampton Roads MSA has tied for 7th overall as the “Happiest Metro Area” [...]

  4. Daniel Carins Says:

    Just to continue my theme of happiness not being a very sensible policy goal:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2010/feb/28/gary-greenberg-manufacturing-depression-extract

    Greenberg makes a lot of the points I would bring to the “happy cities” debate. Happiness is ephemeral, and always should be. An ever-increasing expectation of a “right” to be happy will only create a hugely disappointed, infantilised and depressed society when it doesn’t (and can’t) get what it wants until eventually the bubble bursts. Which we may or may not be almost reaching.