This Is the Happiest City in America

California's Fremont tops WalletHub's list; Detroit, meanwhile, could use some more cheer
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2024 2:26 PM CST
These Are the Happiest US Cities
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/JLco - Julia Amaral)

Looking for a bit of cheer amid winter's gloom? Some cities offer more of a pick-me-up than others, with a positive outlook, strong community, financial security, and overall health all playing a part in how to achieve that elusive concept of "happiness." WalletHub looked at more than 180 of the nation's most populated cities, using 29 metrics in three main categories: emotional and physical well-being (think depression and suicide rates, life expectancy, and food insecurity rates); income and employment, which looks at rates of poverty and unemployment, as well as commute times and job satisfaction; and community environment (think hate crimes, separation and divorce rates, weather, etc.). The 10 happiest and least happy US cities:

Happiest cities

  1. Fremont, California (No. 1 in "Emotional & Physical Well-Being" category)
  2. Overland Park, Kansas
  3. San Jose, California
  4. Madison, Wisconsin
  5. Irvine, California
  6. Honolulu, Hawaii (No. 1 in "Community & Environment" category)
  7. San Francisco
  8. Pearl City, Hawaii
  9. Columbia, Maryland
  10. Scottsdale, Arizona
Least happy cities
  1. Akron, Ohio
  2. Mobile, Alabama
  3. Jackson, Mississippi
  4. Toledo, Ohio
  5. Huntington, West Virginia (last in "Emotional & Physical Well-Being" category)
  6. Shreveport, Louisiana
  7. Birmingham, Alabama
  8. Montgomery, Alabama
  9. Cleveland (last in "Community & Environment" category)
  10. Detroit (last in "Income & Employment" category)

See how other cities fared here. (These are the US cities that boast the best quality of life.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.