According to a new study by WalletHub.

Fremont California
Wenli Li/Getty Images

The happiest place on Earth might be Disneyland to some people, but apparently, the happiest city to live in is Fremont, California. The Bay Area city about 28 miles outside of San Francisco took the top spot this year in WalletHub’s 2023 Happiest Cities in America Report.

To figure out the happiest cities in the United States, WalletHub “drew upon the various findings of positive-psychology research in order to determine which among more than 180 of the largest U.S. cities is home to the happiest people in America.” The researchers judged each city based on 30 key indicators of happiness, including depression rate, income-growth rate, and average leisure time spent per day. 

It turns out Fremont had the lowest depression rate at 11.9%, which was 2.5 times lower than the city with the highest rate, Huntington, West Virginia, at 30.1%. The city also had the lowest separation and divorce rate at 9.02%, which is 4.6 times lower than Cleveland, Ohio, which has the highest divorce rate at 41.59%.

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Fremont isn’t the only city in the West that’s happiest; eight other cities made the top 20 list, which you can see below:

  1. Fremont, California
  2. San Jose, California
  3. Madison, Wisconsin
  4. Overland Park, Kansas
  5. San Francisco, California
  6. Irvine, California
  7. Columbia, Maryland
  8. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
  9. South Burlington, Vermont
  10. Burlington, Vermont
  11. Seattle, Washington
  12. Bismarck, North Dakota
  13. Oakland, California
  14. Huntington Beach, California
  15. San Diego, California
  16. Scottsdale, Arizona
  17. Minneapolis, Minnesota
  18. Yonkers, New York
  19. Aurora, Illinois
  20. Fargo, North Dakota

And while these two Western cities didn’t make the list, it’s worth noting that both Missoula, Montana, and Juneau, Alaska, took the crown for the lowest average commute time at 15.5 minutes, which is 2.7 times lower than New York, New York, which had the highest time of 41.4 minutes. Shorter time spent in traffic equals happy people in our minds, right?

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