Boulder, Colorado is home to the happiest people in the nation
Boulderites are high on happiness.
Where you live may have a big impact on how happy you are. According to a new Gallup poll that surveyed half a million Americans about their daily life, physical health, location, finances and companionship – cities in western states house some of the happiest people.
In particular, Boulder, Colorado, which is the happiest city in the country, according to the survey of 15 metrics developed by National Geographic bestselling author Dan Buettner and a team of Gallup scientists. The progressive town’s “sense of community, access to nature, sustainable urban development and preservation policies” are just a few of the reasons residents of the Rocky Mountain city always seem to be slinging smiles, the research found.
Plus, Boulder’s rustic landscape lends itself to ensuring that its inhabitants are exercising, walking to work and riding bicycles (Boulder has more than 300 miles of dedicated bike routes) – three activities that have been proven to lower obesity rates and contribute to the satisfaction of locals.
These four cities are the next happiest:
Santa Cruz, California
This coastal California college city boasts ocean breezes year round, a benefit that Buettner identifies as an indication of joy. In his new book, The Blue Zones of Happiness, Buettner suggests, “There’s a strong correlation between quality of water and happiness.” According to the City of Santa Cruz, most of their drinking water comes from flowing sources such as rivers and streams and only 5% comes from groundwater.
Home to the University of Virginia and about 47,000 residents, the city ranks high on social and physical well-being. According to the Gallup-Health index, which was measured prior to the recent protests in Charlottesville, 89% of Charlottesville residents report significant enjoyment on any given day, while 74% report being active and productive every day.
Fort Collins, Colorado
Located just 60 miles north of top-ranking Boulder, Fort Collins is famously known as the city that inspired Disneyland’s Main Street. Nestled at the base of the Rocky Mountains, Fort Collins offers residents a wealth of outdoor activities and geographic beauty.
San Luis Obispo, California
The nationally-ranked public university, locally referred to as Cal Poly, is among SLO’s top landmarks. The city’s cool Mediterranean climate, proximity to countless wineries, coastal views and easy access to hiking trails all make the halfway point between Los Angeles and San Francisco among the most desirable.
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