Special Report

The Happiest Cities in America, According to Residents

SDI Productions / E+ via Getty Images

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic challenged the well-being of millions of people, happiness was not an easy measure to quantify because it is highly individual. What makes a person happy changes from one individual to the next, and a person’s happiness is influenced by different factors, depending on social, financial, and health status.

To identify the happiest cities in America, according to residents, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the happiness score of all 383 metro areas in the U.S. from digital health company Sharecare’s Community Well-Being Index.

The index measures whether individuals feel a sense of purpose, have supportive relationships, are financially secure, satisfied with their community, and are in good physical health. Sharecare surveyed more than 450,000 U.S. adults, concentrating on these five areas of individual well-being, as well as analyzed more than 600 elements of social determinants of health from additional data sources.

The West and Rocky Mountains regions, specifically California and Colorado, appear to be the states with the most cities where residents feel happy. The happiness of residents in the Greater San Francisco area — the winner for a second year in a row — is bolstered by strong performance in several categories, including housing and transportation, food access, and financial stability, according to Sharecare.

Unlike the San Francisco area, financial well-being did not improve between 2019 and 2020 in most metro areas, even in those cities that are among the happiest — due to the negative economic impact the pandemic has had in 2020. All other individual well-being factors, however, including physical, community, social, and purpose, have improved between 2019 to 2020.

Life has somewhat normalized between 2020 and 2021 due to extended restrictions and limits on people’s movements. Millions of people have made their homes their offices for good. These are the best cities to live and work from home this year.

Click here for the 50 happiest cities in the US

50. Raleigh, North Carolina


Source: fotoguy22 / iStock via Getty Images

49. Springfield, Illinois

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

48. Gainesville, Florida

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

47. Charleston-North Charleston, South Carolina


Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

46. Columbia, Missouri

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

45. Fargo, North Dakota and Minnesota


Source: Jacob Boomsma / iStock via Getty Images

44. Omaha-Council Bluffs, Nebraska and Iowa

Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

43. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida

Source: Kevin Rutherford / Flickr

42. Barnstable Town, Massachusetts


Source: marekuliasz / iStock via Getty Images

41. Fort Collins, Colorado

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40. Bismarck, North Dakota


Source: ULora / Getty Images

39. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, Florida

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38. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, California

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

37. Portland-South Portland, Maine


Source: SeanPavonePhoto / iStock via Getty Images

36. Hartford-West Hartford-East Hartford, Connecticut

Source: patrick_nouhailler / Flickr

35. Vallejo-Fairfield, California


Source: Manny Chavez / Getty Images

34. Sacramento–Roseville–Arden-Arcade, California

Source: RudyBalasko / iStock

33. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota and Wisconsin

Source: DenisTangneyJr / E+ via Getty Images

32. New Haven-Milford, Connecticut


Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

31. Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

30. Santa Maria-Santa Barbara, California


Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

29. Madison, Wisconsin

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28. Kahului-Wailuku-Lahaina, Hawaii

Source: Mlenny / Getty Images

27. Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin


Source: MasaoTaira / Getty Images

26. Napa, California

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25. Charlottesville, Virginia


Source: Ed-Ni-Photo / Getty Images

24. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California

Source: Ultima_Gaina / iStock via Getty Images

23. Trenton, New Jersey

Source: ablokhin / iStock via Getty Images

22. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, California


Source: Sean Pavone / iStock via Getty Images

21. Burlington-South Burlington, Vermont

Source: Anlace / Wikipedia

20. Santa Rosa, California


Source: kevinruss / iStock

19. Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Oregon and Washington

Source: f11photo / iStock via Getty Images

18. Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado

Source: f11photo / iStock via Getty Images

17. San Diego-Carlsbad, California


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16. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, California

Source: Kruck20 / iStock via Getty Images

15. Baltimore-Columbia-Towson, Maryland


Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

14. Durham-Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Source: harmantasdc / Getty Images

13. Iowa City, Iowa

Source: 4kodiak / Getty Images

12. Salt Lake City, Utah


Source: DenisTangneyJr / iStock via Getty Images

11. Rochester, Minnesota

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

10. Boulder, Colorado


Source: f11photo / Getty Images

9. Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington

Source: pabradyphoto / iStock Editorial via Getty Images

8. Ann Arbor, Michigan

Source: Ingus Kruklitis / iStock via Getty Images

7. New York-Newark-Jersey City, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania


Source: Art Wager / Getty Images

6. Urban Honolulu, Hawaii

Source: DenisTangneyJr / Getty Images

5. Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk, Connecticut


Source: 22746515@N02 / Flickr

4. Boston-Cambridge-Newton, Massachusetts and New Hampshire

Source: SeanPavonePhoto / Getty Images

3. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C., Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia

Source: NicolasMcComber / Getty Images

2. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California


Source: Nicolas McComber / Getty Images

1. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California

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