The U.S. Declaration of Independence speaks about the “pursuit of happiness” as a universal right. However, everyone gets joy from different things, whether it’s family, friends, activities, entertainment or work. What people might not realize is 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. However, money can only make you so happy – people who make $75,000 a year won’t get any higher satisfaction from more money.

As this study aims to illustrate, moving to a certain city may help you be more content. 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. We examined each city based on 31 key indicators of happiness, ranging from depression rate to income-growth rate to average leisure time spent per day. Read on for our findings, methodology and expert commentary from a panel of researchers.

Source: WalletHub

Happiest Cities in the U.S.

Overall Rank (1=Best)


Total Score

‘Emotional & Physical Well-Being’ Rank

‘Income & Employment’ Rank

‘Community & Environment’ Rank

1Plano, TX72.30768
2Irvine, CA71.8614115
3Madison, WI71.813147
4Fremont, CA71.1710371
5Huntington Beach, CA69.7464628
6Fargo, ND69.57172024
7Grand Prairie, TX69.3020356
8San Jose, CA68.9011844
9Scottsdale, AZ68.2446132
10San Francisco, CA67.5342125
11Bismarck, ND67.3825445
12Overland Park, KS67.37225626
13Santa Rosa, CA67.1823539
14Austin, TX67.1615880
15Sioux Falls, SD66.97116795
16Pearl City, HI66.77214715
17Glendale, CA66.252710212
18San Diego, CA66.0183646
19St. Paul, MN65.79187066
20Charleston, SC65.487454
21Gilbert, AZ65.07544810
22Anaheim, CA65.02297934
23Raleigh, NC64.99134187
24Cape Coral, FL64.9651873
25Cedar Rapids, IA64.90415820
26Minneapolis, MN64.82526137
27Chula Vista, CA64.541911725
28Pembroke Pines, FL64.51478914
29Honolulu, HI64.21553417
30Des Moines, IA64.17398537
31Irving, TX64.072817119
32Santa Clarita, CA64.002411277
33Chandler, AZ63.83625516
34Oceanside, CA63.821615629
35Omaha, NE63.50568019
36Lincoln, NE63.43328662
37Oakland, CA63.161275131
38Billings, MT62.82613351
39Tempe, AZ62.80665421
40Garden Grove, CA62.703710767
41Denver, CO62.412164116
42Fort Worth, TX62.35449054
43Burlington, VT62.315310120
44Peoria, AZ62.30657723
45Port St. Lucie, FL61.96767313
46Boise, ID61.94681948
47Garland, TX61.8631120103
48Aurora, CO61.8326121104
49El Paso, TX61.73589839
49Arlington, TX61.734012859
51Washington, DC61.68940167
52Charlotte, NC61.22529257
53Fort Lauderdale, FL61.16596092
54Seattle, WA61.11361171
55Aurora, IL61.053816456
56Missoula, MT60.99575291
57Santa Ana, CA60.965010373
58Boston, MA60.963412152
59Colorado Springs, CO60.96726936
60Durham, NC60.903028113
61Portland, ME60.834849149
62Grand Rapids, MI60.33833149
63Rancho Cucamonga, CA60.14793268
64Salt Lake City, UT60.1180982
65Yonkers, NY60.104515779
66Las Cruces, NM60.083312369
67Rapid City, SD60.07863064
68Dallas, TX59.8235109123
69South Burlington, VT59.81906331
70Virginia Beach, VA59.717310543
71Long Beach, CA59.5842138108
72Anchorage, AK59.53848241
73Cheyenne, WY59.517823127
74Columbia, MD59.4749101138
75Mesa, AZ59.257711647
76Chesapeake, VA58.639412227
77Reno, NV58.58985052
78Tallahassee, FL58.54914285
79Atlanta, GA58.466488100
80Oxnard, CA58.367115130
81Nampa, ID58.2010213711
82Los Angeles, CA58.1243104146
83Orlando, FL58.048524107
84Portland, OR57.729227102
85Salem, OR57.711012990
86Brownsville, TX57.55956888
87Pittsburgh, PA57.451122160
88Riverside, CA57.2510022105
89Fontana, CA57.231067250
90New York, NY57.107015274
91Nashua, NH57.098210096
92Huntsville, AL57.001304722
93Jersey City, NJ56.859316833
94West Valley City, UT56.831037881
95Manchester, NH56.499611363
96Ontario, CA56.351078470
97San Antonio, TX56.341155755
98Amarillo, TX56.211194578
99Vancouver, WA56.171089761
100Tampa, FL56.021213858
101Miami, FL55.976339179
102Dover, DE55.948161145
103Moreno Valley, CA55.6111110865
104Glendale, AZ55.368915986
105Nashville, TN55.341269635
106Houston, TX55.3369132139
107Chicago, IL55.2060175114
108Columbia, SC54.93137783
109Greensboro, NC54.90979498
110Lewiston, ME54.551514384
111Laredo, TX54.407566173
112Hialeah, FL54.3367160169
113Lexington-Fayette, KY54.1311376112
113Henderson, NV54.1312012553
115Sacramento, CA53.9611459118
116Modesto, CA53.5011781121
117Newport News, VA53.29105155128
118Tucson, AZ53.1999114134
119Springfield, MO53.0313210671
120St. Petersburg, FL52.7613525133
121Richmond, VA52.66104139157
122Tacoma, WA52.59109140153
123Warwick, RI52.4113644151
124Lubbock, TX52.2913316142
125Casper, WY51.991617197
126Kansas City, MO51.96110148129
127Phoenix, AZ51.9487136172
128Oklahoma City, OK51.5915511038
129Corpus Christi, TX51.5014515124
130Winston-Salem, NC51.44116118141
131Juneau, AK51.211603175
132Albuquerque, NM51.15123111150
133Columbus, OH51.14128133111
134Bakersfield, CA50.9813974126
135Bridgeport, CT50.9288169161
136Jacksonville, FL50.551539572
137Knoxville, TN50.431666232
138Louisville, KY50.3115812442
139Norfolk, VA49.97129129143
140Chattanooga, TN49.941679940
141Wichita, KS49.79138131130
142Worcester, MA49.77125149159
143Rochester, NY49.76134142140
144San Bernardino, CA49.56124134166
145Buffalo, NY49.22144126117
146Fresno, CA48.86127119158
147Milwaukee, WI48.75122172147
148Baton Rouge, LA48.5614093168
149Stockton, CA48.35118150165
150Spokane, WA48.0814291176
151Indianapolis, IN47.8314717789
152Fort Wayne, IN47.63152143132
153New Orleans, LA47.5716412776
154North Las Vegas, NV47.1915715899
155Las Vegas, NV47.02149146144
156Tulsa, OK46.5017083110
157Wilmington, DE46.32156144154
158Providence, RI45.81169115122
159New Haven, CT45.56131141182
160Montgomery, AL45.48143176155
161Baltimore, MD44.75148161177
162Jackson, MS44.70150178178
163Shreveport, LA44.5917117375
164Memphis, TN44.45146179156
165Philadelphia, PA44.27168165115
166Columbus, GA44.27174154109
167Fayetteville, NC44.17159153170
168Akron, OH44.05154166174
169Cincinnati, OH43.50165145162
170Fort Smith, AR43.33176135136
171St. Louis, MO42.85162170160
172Augusta, GA42.38175163106
173Mobile, AL42.22172174135
174Newark, NJ41.86141182180
175Huntington, WV41.581825118
176Little Rock, AR41.40178130101
177Gulfport, MS41.0617916294
178Cleveland, OH40.81163180164
179Birmingham, AL40.78173167163
180Charleston, WV39.681806593
181Toledo, OH39.48177171148
182Detroit, MI29.19181181181
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