There are a number of factors that impact the general overall happiness of Americans, and location is one of them. According to Harris Poll, 33% of all Americans said that they are very happy – and Harris has ranked the top ten markets by that metric. And the winner is:
* Dallas/Fort Worth! 38% of the citizens of the Texas Metroplex consider themselves to be very happy. 75% have positive spiritual beliefs, 59% are not concerned about their health, and 67% believe that their voice is being heard in Washington. Harris says the flip side is that DFW is on the high side when it comes to having poor family relationships, but even that is not a major concern – only 17% made that particular admission.
* Houston gives Texas a Top Two sweep at 36%. Harris said the positive factors mirrored those of Dallas/Fort Worth, and added that there were no negatives worth noting.
* Philadelphia is tied for third at 34%. The vast majority of residents of the City of Brotherly Love – 92% — cite positive relationships with their friends as a key to happiness, and 86% are generally happy with their lives at the moment. No particular negatives stand out, says Harris.
* Also at 34% is Atlanta, where 81% are optimistic about the future and 77% have positive spiritual lives. They are, however, on the low side when it comes to positive friendships, but at that, 84% still claim this to be a positive area in their lives.
* Los Angeles is the first of three metros at par 33%. In its case, Harris cited low scores on negatives as data contributing to its overall score. Specifically, on 32% find their work to be frustrating, and only 28% are unable to pursue enjoyable hobbies and pastimes.
* Also in at 33% is New York, where 57% rarely worry about health issues. However, 83% believe their voices are not heard in regard to national policy, 67% are worried about personal finances and 41% find their work to be frustrating.
* Rounding out the three 33% metros is Washington DC, where 94% have great friendships, 91% have great family relationships and 85% are generally happy. On the downside, perhaps because they live in the shadow of Capitol Hill, only 70% can muster up any optimism for the future.
* Chicago is just below par at 32%. The Windy City’s positives are, like Los Angeles, cited as low negatives: Only 67% are worried that their voices go unheard on issues of the day and only 27% lack the ability to enjoy hobbies and pastimes. However, only 84% have positive friendships, only 72% are generally happy and only 47% are free of health worries.
* At 31%, Boston comes in #9 out of 10. On the plus side, only 56% have financial concerns; but only 60% claim positive spiritual guidance, and only 46% are free of health concerns.
* Bringing up the rear is San Francisco at 28%. Despite a healthy 79% with optimism about the future, they duplicated Boston’s 60% and 46% scores on spirituality and health, and 73% feel their voices are unheeded on the national front.
RBR-TVBR observation: At the risk of alienating millions of people, including many members of our own company, we hereby predict that the happiness quotient of the good people of Dallas/Fort Worth will come down a few notches after that town’s Cowboys have had a couple of run-ins with RGIII and the Washington Redskins.
Further, we must register our heartfelt sentiment that the 41% of all New Yorkers who find their work to be frustrating will include, right at the top of the list, Eli Manning and Tom Coughlin.