Americans are patriots. As Americans, we are not just proud of our nation, but often also of our state and the city in which we live. Still, residents of cities nationwide don’t always take as much pride in their communities as residents of other cities. Some are far more proud to live in their cities than others.
Using data from the most recent Gallup public opinion poll and the U.S. Census Bureau, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 13 most proud U.S. metropolitan areas. In these cities, at least 74% of adults said they were proud of their city — 10 percentage points above the national average share.
What makes a city a place residents are proud to call home? The answer is not always clear, although many of these cities have several common economic factors, mainly income level.
Household income in most of the cities on this list is above national median. Poverty rates also tend to be relatively low in these cities, although this is not the case for all. Located on the border between Tennessee and Virginia, the Kingsport-Bristol-Bristol metro area, is one of the proudest communities in the country even though its poverty rate of 18.2% is well above the national rate of 14.0%.
A common, though uncorrelated, belief is that cities with smaller populations seem to be more prideful than their larger peers.
“Being from a smaller sized community doesn’t increase the chances that you’ll feel prideful of it,” said Dan Witters, the research director of Gallup-Sharecare’s Well-Being Index. “But it does increase the chances that you will have a stronger opinion, either positively or negatively.”
Another point of pride in these communities is the presence of a college or university. All 13 metro areas in this list host an institution of higher learning.
“College towns or communities with a significant academic presence have high well-being generally, and pride is a big part of that,’’ said Witters. “Colleges can bring to a community a sense of prestige, from academics to performing arts to sports.’’
Pride in a community is strongly associated with other measures of well-being, notably, neighborhood safety. Cities where people report feeling safe and secure in their community tend to also be among the most proud. In fact, seven of the 13 proudest American communities are also among the top 10 communities that feel the safest in their environment.
To identify the cities and areas with the proudest residents, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the percentage of people who say they are proud of where they live in each metropolitan area from the 2016 Well-Being Index, a joint project by polling company Gallup-Sharecare. A total of 175,000 respondents 18 years and older are interviewed each year. The percentage of adults who feel safe and secure also came from the well-being index. The median household income and the poverty rate came from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey.
Do you think you know which communities made the list?