Study: North Texas City Ranks Among the Top 25 Happiest Cities in U.S.

Featured, Lifestyle

Happy Young Woman | Rido

According to a recent study, Plano ranked among the top 25 happiest cities in the U.S. WalletHub ranked Plano at No.22 of 182 cities in its 2022 Happiest Cities in America analysis.

Happy people are defined by the WalletHub study as healthy, satisfied with their jobs, and financially well-off.

“Some of the factors that contributed to [Plano’s] ranking include the low share of people who use marijuana and the large share of adults with good mental health,” said Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with WalletHub.

The study found that 61.1% of Plano households earn annual incomes above $75,000, and the poverty rate was just 6.8%. 

“The low separation and divorce rate at less than 16% is another important factor that increased the happiness of Plano’s residents,” Gonzalez told The Dallas Express. “The separation and divorce rate is an indicator of the well-being of a community.”

Fremont, California ranked No.1, in part due to the emotional and physical well-being of its residents.

“Fremont has the highest life satisfaction index and the second lowest depression rate at just 13%,” Gonzalez told The Dallas Express. “It also has a low number of retail opioid prescriptions dispensed and a high share of adults with good mental health. Other areas where the city scored [highly] include a low separation and divorce rate at 9.21%.” 

The California city also has the most acres of parkland per 1,000 people, whereas Plano ranked 43rd in this category.

WalletHub data also showed that 75.2% of households in Fremont — where automaker Tesla maintains a factory — earn incomes above $75,000, and the city has just a 4.3% poverty rate.

“The Tesla factory could be contributing to the fact that Fremont has a large percentage of households with high incomes,” Gonzalez said.

“[Fremont residents] are able to contribute to the economy by paying taxes, going out, purchasing goods and services and thus supporting local businesses,” Gonzalez continued. “Housing, job, family, friends, entertainment and various activities are all contributors to happiness. However, each person has different priorities and some of these factors may be more important than others, depending on the person.”

Other North Texas cities didn’t fare as well as Plano. Grand Prairie ranked No.83, while Irving came in at No.89, Garland at No.97, Fort Worth at No.103, Arlington at No.107, and Dallas at No.111. 

“Plano ranks higher than Grand Prairie, Irving, Garland, Fort Worth, Arlington, and Dallas because it has a better adequate sleep rate, a higher sports participation rate, fewer retail opioid prescriptions dispensed, a larger share of adults with good mental health, higher life expectancy, and a lower food insecurity rate,” Gonzalez explained. 

For a happier population, the six lagging North Texas cities would need better scores in those categories, said Gonzalez, adding, “They would also need to have a lower unemployment rate, shorter work weeks and commutes, and more leisure time.”

The data analyst noted that happiness is especially crucial because many people are under large amounts of stress.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused so much stress to people that a third of Americans are finding it hard to make basic decisions,” Gonzalez said. “This is one of the reasons why happiness is important and why people should seek to boost their happiness however they can.”

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