National Geographic has ranked the top 25 cities in the United States for happiness. California towns hold eight of the top 25 slots, but the number one happiest town is Boulder, Colorado. Colorado Springs and Ft. Collins also made the list. Author Dan Buettner worked with Gallup to fashion an index to measure happiness rates.
Research indicates that the variabilities of place play an important role in whether locals feel happy. In happier places, according to Buettner, locals smile and laugh more often, socialize several hours a day, have access to green spaces, and feel that they are making purposeful progress toward achieving life goals. For our index, it tracked factors that are statistically associated with doing well and feeling well; these include feeling secure, taking vacations, and having enough money to cover basic needs.
Boulder and its happy residents are the subject of National Geographic magazine's cover article for November. Read up on the details of how these happy cities were determined at NatGeo. -via Mental Floss