If where you live improves your financial situation and your well-being, it may also influence how happy you are. But not always.
If you could just win the lottery, you’d be happy, right?
But money isn’t always the key to happiness. In fact, many lottery winners wind up no happier than their peers, and sometimes spiral downward, squandering their wealth and facing lawsuits and people who demand a share of the winnings, according to Psychology Today. But research suggests that when lottery winners spend their money on basic necessities or moderate consumption, they feel more secure, fortunate, and happy.
Wanting too much might also trip you up on your search for happiness. The less you want, the less you’ll be disappointed, suggests LifeHack, a site that offers palliation for people who search the internet for answers to life’s big questions. Happy people manage their expectations and don’t set unrealistic standards.
Research in general is on the fence about the connection between having more money and more happiness. One survey found that on average across 30 countries, two in three adults (67%) consider themselves “happy.” The survey found that people most look to their health and well-being, family, and having a sense of purpose as what gives them “the greatest happiness.” These factors were followed by living conditions, feeling safe and in control, being in nature, having a meaningful job, and having more money.
To find the cities where Americans are happiest, investment adviser site SmartAsset analyzed the 200 largest U.S. cities, of which 164 had available data. They considered 13 metrics across three categories and scored them on a scale of 1-100:
- Personal finance includes the percent of individuals earning $100,000 or more, cost of living as a percent of income, personal bankruptcy filings and down payment-to-income ratio.
- Well-being includes the percent of people reporting poor mental health days, life expectancy, physical activity rate and percent of adults with health insurance.
- Quality of life includes the percent of adults living below poverty-level, marriage rate, commute time, concentration of dining, bars and entertainment businesses and the violent crime rate.
They found the city that ranked as happiest, Sunnyvale, Calif., has the highest percentage of individuals earning $100,000 or more (62.5%.) It also has the third-lowest percentage of adults living below the poverty-level (roughly 5%.)
But, we circle back to money not always being the answer. Sunnyvale also has the highest quality-of-life score, low violent crime and the fifth-highest marriage rate.
And, some of the cities with the lowest personal finance scores still ranked among the 30 happiest cities--notably, Honolulu had the second-lowest personal finance score overall but still ranks 18th on this list.
Based on SmartAsset's study, these are the happiest cities in America.
Was the information in this article useful?
Thanks for the feedback.
Post a comment as anonymous
Watch this discussion.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.