The 5 Happiest Cities In America Are In One State
July 23, 2014
A working paper from professors at Harvard and the Vancouver School examined the happiness of cities based on data from a CDC study and weighted based on demographics and income, Harvard reports.
The happiest cities are all in the same state: Louisiana. Those cities are Lafayette, Houma, Shreveport-Bossier City, Baton Rouge, and Alexandria.
The Northeast and one city in the Midwest did not fare too well: Scranton, Erie, and Pittsburgh, PA, Gary, IN, and New York City were found to be the top five unhappiest cities.
The data comes from a CDC survey called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, among other sources, and adjusted for age, sex, race, income and other factors.
The authors wrote:
"Differences in happiness and subjective well-being across space weakly support the view that the desires for happiness and life satisfaction do not uniquely drive human ambitions. If we choose only that which maximized our happiness, then individuals would presumably move to happier places until the point where rising rents and congestion eliminated the joys of that locale. An alternative view is that humans are quite understandably willing to sacrifice both happiness and life satisfaction if the price is right. ... Indeed, the residents of unhappier metropolitan areas today do receive higher real wages — presumably as compensation for their misery."
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