Not every city is perfect, but if you’re planning a trip to one of the nation’s so called “unhappiest cities” don’t be sad.
The U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research recently released a study called “Unhappiest Cities” which listed the country’s unhappiest and happiest metro areas with a population over one million.
And the results are pretty surprising.
It makes sense that rust-belt cities, like Detroit and Indianapolis, which are struggling economically and have declining populations, would rank pretty low.
But bustling, tourist-centric New York City came in as the most unhappy city in the U.S. What gives? New York has great food, entertainment and it’s easy to get around. Plus, people in the city are some of the highest paid workers in the country. Yet, in the abstract of the paper, researchers wrote that people are “willingly endure less happiness in exchange for higher incomes or lower housing costs.”
According to Time, researchers were unable to find conclusive causal data from the self-reported information and could not verify the results of previous location related happiness studies. But they did claim that factors like income inequality affect unhappiness, and weather is directly related to happiness.
That holds true for some of the happiest cities in the nation. Three beloved beach friendly communities—Norfolk, VA; Jacksonville, FL and West Balm Beach—all make the top 10.
Top 10 happiest metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million (as of 2010):
1. Richmond-Petersburg, VA
2. Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, VA
3. Washington, DC
4. Raleigh-Durham, NC
5. Atlanta, GA
6. Houston, TX
7. Jacksonville, FL
8. Nashville, TN
9. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, FL
10. Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon, NJ
Top 10 unhappiest metropolitan areas with a population greater than 1 million (as of 2010):
1. New York, NY
2. Pittsburgh, PA
3. Louisville, KY
4. Milwaukee, WI
5. Detroit, MI
6. Indianapolis, IN
7. St. Louis, MO
8. Las Vegas, NV
9. Buffalo, NY
10. Philadelphia, PA