Today is the International Day of Happiness! Yes, that’s totally a thing. You feel it, right? While it may feel a bit more like summer here, the first day of spring does tend to put a little pep in our step. And to celebrate, we’re sharing with you the results of a national study that ranks one of our fair cities among the happiest in the land. According to WalletHub, that magical place is (drum roll)… Plano!
(Tell that to the folks fighting over the Plano Tomorrow Plan. Ahem.)
In a recent study, Plano, at number 19, is the only Texas city to break the top 20 happiest places to live in 2017. Dallas ranks number 86, which isn’t too shabby, either.
What Makes a City Happy?
How can you quantify happiness? Well, the experts behind the study analyzed three main happiness factors and a host of indicators that influence those.
First, psychologists and sociologists took a look at emotional and mental well-being. Quality-of-life issues like a good night’s sleep and physical fitness greatly impact a city’s happiness rating. They also took into account suicide, depression, and binge-drinking rates among populations.
Second, they analyzed income and employment. This is where Plano ranks really high. Cities with a low poverty and a high number of households making over $75,000, ranked highest on the list. Job security and satisfaction also play key roles. That $75,000 number marks an interesting delineation. According to the study, “Wealth follows happiness — but only up to an income level of $75,000 a year. Any higher, and money ceases to influence a person’s contentment with life.”
Lastly, they studied community and environment. Communities where citizens value volunteerism and social ties rank high. Leisure time and exposure to nature and park lands also affect a city’s relative happiness. Green in good!
A Work/Life Imbalance?
While Plano ranks high in income and employment, it’s interesting that it also loses major points within the very same category for hours worked. Plano actually takes a sharp nose dive when it comes to being overworked – 146 out of 150 cities in the study do a better job when it comes to work/life balance.
You’d think all that working would cause some family strife, but the study seems to suggest quite the opposite. In fact, there’s some good news as it relates to your love life – Plano has some of the lowest separation and divorce rates in the country, according to the study.
And the ‘burbs always take such a bad rap!