Does the winter weather have you feeling down? Or maybe it’s the long commute, grumpy people, or financial insecurity your city has to offer. If you’re feeling like you need to make a move to a happier place, we’ve got you covered. We put together this list of the 8 happiest cities in America, based off of the 2014 Gallup State of American Well-Being. See if any of the cities on our list of the happiest places in America sound right for you and your family.
8. San Jose, California
One thing you’ll quickly notice about this list is that sunshine is a major common feature of the happiest cities in America – San Jose is no exception. People that live in San Jose tend to feel really great about their financial and physical well-being. The high levels of financial well-being can largely be attributed to a great economy with lots of job opportunities.
7. Provo, Utah
Provo is the third largest city in the state of Utah, located just 43 miles from Salt Lake City. At an elevation of over 4,000 feet, it’s one of the highest cities on this list, and is home to Bringham Young University. Provo ranks as the top city in the USA for sense of community – meaning that people like where they live, feel save, and take pride in Provo, one of the happiest places in America.
6. Austin, Texas
A full-fledged tech powerhouse, Austin is continually transforming itself while always staying relevant. From great music to fabulous art, there’s lots to see and do in Austin. It’s the fastest growing of the largest 50 US cities, meaning that people from all over are recognizing Austin as a great place to call home. Austin, like Provo, also ranks very high in sense of community, as people from Austin are very proud to call the city their home.
5. El Paso, Texas
El Paso, Texas is the only city on this list to rank number one in two categories of happiness – physical and sense of purpose. In terms of physical happiness, El Paso has all of the natural landscape you’d expect from the top city in the nation. The city is home to the largest urban park in the USA (Franklin Mountains State Park), with many other activities available like golf and bouldering.
4. Oxnard, California
No surprise here. Oxnard is not only one of the wealthiest cities per capita in America, it’s also one of the safest cities. Residents have good social relationships with those in the community, and genuinely enjoy their day to day activities, giving them high ratings in sense of purpose.
3. Raleigh, North Carolina
Just try to find someone who’s visited Raleigh and didn’t enjoy the city. It’s almost impossible to dislike one of the happiest places in America. The city is full of positive energy, from its coffee shops to its breweries. Raleigh scored very high on both the social and community categories.
2. Honolulu, Hawaii
Hard to be in a bad mood when you live in Hawaii. Honolulu ranked first in the US for financial well-being – maybe everyone’s so busy surfing they can afford to forget about their finances for a while. If you’re looking to move to a happier place, Honolulu is definitely a great option. Bring your sun-block though!
1. North Port, Florida
Coming in at number one is North Port, Florida. Located in Southern Sarasota County, North Port has a population of just over 50,000, making it one of the smallest cities in the top eight. Boasting great schools and recreational activities, North Port scored very high in the physical well-being category. It also came in the top five in social and financial well-being, so if you’re looking for a smaller place to call home, you can’t go wrong with one of the happiest cities in America!