According to a press release, National Geographic, Gallup senior scientist Dan Witters, and author Dan Buettner compiled 15 metrics of a city’s happiness-level potential, including walkability, healthy food options, average vacation time, and financial security. Then, they synthesized responses from 250,000 interviews conducted between 2014 to 2015 to name the happiest places to live.
“There’s a strong correlation between quality of water and happiness. And places where people frequent their dentists report being more satisfied with their lives.” —Dan Buettner, best-selling author
Ultimately, Boulder, Colorado, was declared the happiest place in America, given its access to nature, active community, and sustainable urban development. Other cities that made the cut spanned the whole country—from San Francisco to Portland, Maine. So what do all these cheerful places have in common?
Aside from happier places having more green space, locals who love to laugh and smile, and people who socialize frequently, a couple of other similarities stood out: “There’s a strong correlation between quality of water and happiness. And places where people frequent their dentists report being more satisfied with their lives,” Buettner told National Geographic.
Curious about the other happy cities in America?
Check below to see if your hometown made the cut for the 25 happiest cities in the country.
The happiest cities in America
1. Boulder, CO
2. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
3. Charlottesville, VA
4. Fort Collins, CO
5. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA
6. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
7. Provo-Orem, UT
8. Bridgeport-Stamford, CT
9. Barnstable Town, MA
10. Anchorage, AK
11. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL
12. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, CA
13. Salinas, CA
14. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
15. Urban Honolulu, HI
16. Ann Arbor, MI
17. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, CA
18. Colorado Springs, CO
19. Manchester-Nashua, NH
20. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA
21. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
22. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
23. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA
24. Portland-South Portland, ME
25. Austin-Round Rock, TX
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