Why Some Cities Make You Happier

Richard Florida interprets the Well-Being Index and infers that happiness could be based on where you live.

Increasingly, where we live determines how happy we are. Researcher Richard Florida looked closely at the 2010 edition of the Gallup-Healthyways Well-Being Index which listed 185 of America’s largest metros in terms of their relative “happiness.”

Florida narrowed down the sources of this relative happiness to income, the type of work we do, and our level of education. He explained that cities with more knowledge, and more professional and creative jobs have a lower unemployment rate and higher level of income. Cities with more blue collar jobs, that were hit hardest by the economic crisis, are experiencing increasing unemployment rates and lowering incomes and residents don’t have the means to relocate. This puts a serious damper on the ability of those cities’ populations to be happy under Florida’s criteria.

What he found was that, over time, America has increasingly become unequal and divided in terms of income, jobs, education, politics and culture. The difference between being happy and unhappy has come to revolve around geographical location and urban environment.

[via Creative Class]

Richard Florida

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