Original article by WalletHub


The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a third of Americans to be so stressed that they sometimes find it hard to make basic decisions. Therefore, it’s vital for people to boost their happiness however they can, whether through family, friends, activities, entertainment or work. What people might not realize is that where they live may also determine how happy they 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. Consider also the fact that while the U.S. is one of the richest countries, it ranks only 14th on the World Happiness Report.

But not everywhere in the U.S. experiences a uniform level of happiness. 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 30 key indicators of happiness, ranging from the depression rate to the income-growth rate to average leisure time spent per day.

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


Main Findings


Happiest Cities in the U.S.

Overall Rank 


Total Score 

Emotional & Physical Well-Being 

Income & Employment 

Community & Environment 

1Fremont, CA77.131462
2Columbia, MD71.6431615
3San Francisco, CA71.154144
4San Jose, CA71.002655
5Irvine, CA70.3851612
6Madison, WI68.10101119
7Seattle, WA67.676299
8Overland Park, KS67.46125413
9Huntington Beach, CA66.4395143
10San Diego, CA65.82141825
11Fargo, ND65.46222423
12Minneapolis, MN65.0982080
13Bismarck, ND64.6548324
14Santa Rosa, CA64.521322105
15Santa Clarita, CA64.441510029
16Oakland, CA64.35710587
17Sioux Falls, SD64.34207427
18Glendale, CA64.05319111
19Scottsdale, AZ63.7850436
20Anaheim, CA63.72257533
21Aurora, IL63.60211448
22Plano, TX63.33374824
23Oxnard, CA63.292613210
24Garden Grove, CA63.15248052
25Chula Vista, CA63.011711330
26Charleston, SC62.7653331
27Raleigh, NC62.35237163
28Honolulu, HI62.24447221
29Cedar Rapids, IA62.22388340
30Austin, TX62.04355109
31Portland, ME61.962810150
32Pearl City, HI61.783614822
33Oceanside, CA61.723011053
34Gilbert, AZ61.72553417
35Lincoln, NE61.102767104
36Boston, MA61.07431589
37South Burlington, VT60.651156181
38Santa Ana, CA60.62453186
39Pembroke Pines, FL60.595112515
40Burlington, VT60.32349170
41Portland, OR60.31492188
42Aurora, CO60.151915469
43Jersey City, NJ59.744017020
44Yonkers, NY59.6918163102
45Chandler, AZ59.62586038
46St. Paul, MN59.543396121
47Omaha, NE59.48527956
48Juneau, AK59.273214179
49Sacramento, CA59.27643049
50Cheyenne, WY59.05101473
51Virginia Beach, VA58.906212018
52Peoria, AZ58.84725816
53Tempe, AZ58.79711750
54Los Angeles, CA58.703985128
55Salt Lake City, UT58.585733116
56Chicago, IL58.434716646
57Denver, CO58.4116134153
58New York, NY58.354616451
59Anchorage, AK58.186010254
60Long Beach, CA58.1341142101
61Nashua, NH58.116810435
62Boise, ID58.095913119
63Cape Coral, FL58.0589459
64Colorado Springs, CO57.74639759
65Pittsburgh, PA57.72802941
66Fort Lauderdale, FL57.65678462
67Charlotte, NC57.61617868
68Bridgeport, CT57.344216591
69Chesapeake, VA57.32811457
70Warwick, RI57.19696290
71Rancho Cucamonga, CA57.13833648
72Rapid City, SD57.12762776
73Missoula, MT57.12884028
74Durham, NC56.925469123
75Miami, FL56.785652142
76Des Moines, IA56.65706881
77Columbia, SC56.62108437
78Reno, NV56.136537143
79Casper, WY55.761271231
80Tampa, FL55.62943860
81West Valley City, UT55.50788285
82Tacoma, WA55.50759893
83Grand Prairie, TX55.08988942
84Vancouver, WA55.087349147
85Washington, DC55.052957182
86Port St. Lucie, FL55.031156514
87Mesa, AZ55.01867764
88Providence, RI54.841132547
89Irving, TX54.73855598
90Manchester, NH54.668412957
91Orlando, FL54.599619108
92Grand Rapids, MI54.321045366
93Atlanta, GA54.277987115
94Hialeah, FL54.2066157110
95Tallahassee, FL54.16130845
96Ontario, CA53.971196432
97Garland, TX53.829210867
98Henderson, NV53.728714358
99Fontana, CA53.441189534
100St. Petersburg, FL53.3910035134
101Modesto, CA53.211124292
102Moreno Valley, CA53.1112011626
103Fort Worth, TX52.859712483
104Riverside, CA52.8410728125
105Billings, MT52.5112226107
106Spokane, WA52.171267129
107Arlington, TX52.1493122118
108Glendale, AZ51.84106112114
109Nashville, TN51.8311710774
110Worcester, MA51.6995139126
111Dallas, TX51.509093154
112Houston, TX51.4174140164
113Norfolk, VA50.8510216796
114Milwaukee, WI50.76103152113
115Laredo, TX50.6410550165
115Wilmington, DE50.6412512677
117Tucson, AZ50.6011466148
118New Haven, CT50.5877115178
119Phoenix, AZ50.3991106169
120El Paso, TX50.31109130132
121Albuquerque, NM50.3182101176
122Stockton, CA50.1599150137
123Fresno, CA50.1012386136
124Nampa, ID50.061459939
125Brownsville, TX50.0513373122
126Bakersfield, CA49.98132103100
127Jacksonville, FL49.8914710936
128Las Cruces, NM49.74110118156
129Winston-Salem, NC49.431389497
130San Antonio, TX49.3111688160
131Rochester, NY48.96131114139
132Newark, NJ48.7511118273
133Las Vegas, NV48.6112416995
134Columbus, OH48.28128138145
135North Las Vegas, NV48.2113517561
136Buffalo, NY48.20121136157
137Greensboro, NC48.1212970167
138Lexington-Fayette, KY47.90134121144
139Corpus Christi, TX47.5413762159
140Huntsville, AL46.7915211979
141Philadelphia, PA46.7814814675
141Wichita, KS46.78143127130
143Amarillo, TX46.751597670
144Lewiston, ME46.711661278
145Salem, OR46.3914441175
146Newport News, VA46.3814117472
147New Orleans, LA46.35146111146
148Oklahoma City, OK46.3215513582
149Baltimore, MD45.9714217884
150Richmond, VA45.97136176133
151Dover, DE45.7415192155
152Kansas City, MO45.61140128166
153San Bernardino, CA45.36149137140
154Cincinnati, OH45.15139147163
155Fort Wayne, IN45.00154149117
156Springfield, MO44.9516744103
157Lubbock, TX44.8915723168
158Baton Rouge, LA44.3715690152
159Louisville, KY44.10158151111
160Indianapolis, IN43.70150177131
161St. Louis, MO43.68153160149
162Tulsa, OK43.35163117138
163Little Rock, AR43.25164133106
164Knoxville, TN43.101695994
165Akron, OH42.29162168112
166Chattanooga, TN42.24165141120
167Columbus, GA40.9017713165
168Fayetteville, NC40.83161155171
169Jackson, MS40.60160159174
170Birmingham, AL39.54168158162
171Toledo, OH39.17172171127
172Charleston, WV39.1317381173
173Shreveport, LA39.0117517371
174Mobile, AL38.94171172124
175Fort Smith, AR37.4518061158
176Augusta, GA36.64178162135
177Cleveland, OH36.52170156180
178Montgomery, AL35.54174180161
179Huntington, WV35.5318239141
180Memphis, TN34.86176181172
181Gulfport, MS34.71181153151
182Detroit, MI32.31179179177

Note: With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that city, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.

This content is not the product of the National Association of REALTORS®, and may not reflect NAR's viewpoint or position on these topics and NAR does not verify the accuracy of the content.