Life's still good in Austin, where folks are among the happiest in the country — and they're even happier than last year, a report from WalletHub finds.
The personal finance site reviewed 31 "key indicators of happiness," including income-growth rate, average leisure time spent on a given day, and depression rate in more than 180 cities to determine the happiest places in the U.S.
Austin ranks No. 14 for 2019. That's an improvement from last year, when the Capital City came in at No. 21. Austin ranked eighth in income and employment, 15th in emotional and physical well-being, and 80th in community and environment.
"Location plays a hand in how bright or gloomy our days are," the report says. "For years, researchers have studied the science of happiness and found that its key ingredients include a positive mental state, healthy body, strong social connections, job satisfaction, and financial well-being. However, money can only make you so happy — people who make $75,000 a year won’t get any higher satisfaction from more money."
The Dallas-Fort Worth area has the happiest cities in Texas.
Plano takes the No. 1 spot — making it the happiest place in America — for 2019, and Grand Prairie lands at No. 7. Those are improvements from last year, when Plano came in at No. 5 and Grand Prairie placed at No. 10.
Maybe there's something to the old adage "happy wife, happy life" in Plano, where the separation and divorce rate is the fourth lowest in the country. The three cities with lower rates are Fremont, California (No. 1); Irvine, California (No. 2), and Gilbert, Arizona (No. 3).
Irving (No. 31), Fort Worth (No. 42), Garland (No. 47), Arlington (No. 49), and Dallas (No. 68) are the other DFW cities that made the list.
Meanwhile, other Texas cities fall on the unhappy end of the spectrum, including Brownsville (No. 86), San Antonio (No. 97), Amarillo (No. 98), Houston (No. 106), Laredo (No. 111), Lubbock (No. 124), and Corpus Christi (No. 129). El Paso tied with Arlington at No. 49.