Where the Nation’s Happiest Residents Live

March 14, 2018

The happiest city in America is Fremont, Calif., according to a new analysis of more than 180 of the largest U.S. cities. WalletHub measured cities using 28 “happiness indicators,” including low divorce rates, amount of leisure time, income growth, low depression rates, and more. 

Why are residents so happy in Fremont? Researchers posit that the nearness to San Francisco and Silicon Valley may have something to do with that. Job opportunities abound and real estate prices may be high, but not as high as nearby Silicon Valley. Also, the nice weather may be lifting residents’ spirits. 

“Sunlight and temperature are proven to have an impact on human emotions,” says Shane Lee, an analyst with RentHop. “Based on the list, it seems that many of the cities with nice weather are ranked higher. Eight out of the top 20 cities on this list are in California, for instance.”

However, the happiest cities are not always the most obvious choices, Cara Ameer, a real estate professional in California, told realtor.com®.

“Bismarck and Fargo may be hidden gems, which have quietly boomed as a result of the oil and gas industry there,” Ameer says. “Plus you’ve got the gorgeous landscapes with big skies and mountains.”

The happiest cities in America, according to WalletHub’s rankings, are: 

  1. Fremont, Calif. 
  2. Bismarck, N.D.
  3. San Jose, Calif. 
  4. Pearl City, Hawaii
  5. Plano, Texas
  6. Fargo, N.D.
  7. Sioux Falls, S.D.
  8. Irvine, Calif. 
  9. Huntington Beach, Calif. 
  10. Grand Prairie, Texas