Happy days are here
Austin shines merry and bright as one of the happiest cities in America for 2022
Things are looking especially merry in Austin, home to some of the happiest people in the U.S., according to a new study.
The Capital City comes in at No. 20 in a new study by SmartAsset that ranks the top 50 places where Americans are happiest in 2022.
The study analyzes the 200 largest cities by comparing 13 different metrics across three categories: personal finance, well-being and quality of life.
"Research shows that in some cases, money does lead to happiness," the report says. "In fact, a 2021 University of Pennsylvania study found a correlation between happiness and income growth, even past an annual income of $80,000. This is in contrast to previous research that found happiness stagnated after an individual earned $75,000. However, not all places can offer the same level of happiness, as some cities offer more economic opportunities and a better quality of life than others."
Six California cities dominated the top 10, which also included two Texas cities: Frisco, at No. 5, and Plano, at No. 6.
To conduct their study, SmartAsset analyzed four metrics relating to the category of personal finances. The metrics included the percentage of individuals earning $100,000 or more annually, the cost of living as a percentage of income, personal bankruptcy filings, and down payment-to-income ratios.
To research each cities’ level of well-being, SmartAsset studied the percentage of reported poor mental health days, life expectancy rates, percentage of reported physical inactivity, and percentage of adults with health insurance.
The cities’ quality of life was calculated based on the percentage of adults living below the poverty level, marriage rates, average commute time, violent crime rates, and the concentration of restaurants, bars and entertainment establishments within each city.
In the SmartAsset ranking index, Austin scored 88.75 out of 100 for Personal Finance, 76.87 for Well-Being, and 49.35 for Quality of Life.
This isn’t Austin's first time in the happy-and-bright spotlight this year. In March, personal finance website WalletHub ranked Austin as the second happiest city in Texas, behind Plano, and the 30th happiest city in the U.S.
Sunnyvale, California was deemed the happiest place in America for 2022 by SmartAsset.