Not all residents here are crying in their homes; however, their emotional well-being overall is lower than average. Gallup and Healthways partner to create the Community Well-Being Index measuring American cities based on how well they provide for social and financial success, community integration, and life purpose for the residents. If you live in one of these cities, you might think about moving to the Happiest Cities in the Nation.
Worst Scoring Area: Personal Purpose
Thanks to the city’s location at the edge of Lake Erie, Buffalo is the recipient of lake-effect snow from the Great Lakes, causing temperatures to plummet in winter. Each year, on average, the city is buried under 83 inches of snowfall. If the constant cold weather doesn't get you down (February 2015 didn't have a single day above freezing), the jobs situation certainly will.
In the all too important manufacturing jobs sector, Buffalo has seen half of those jobs disappear since the 1980s. This probably contributes to the city’s poorest metric ranking of personal purpose. Without the meaningfulness and drive that a stable career offers, many people feel unfulfilled, which is detrimental to overall mental well-being. Additionally, the city has consistently been losing population since the 1960s as residents seek opportunities elsewhere. Unless the city of Buffalo can reverse these trends, it doesn’t bode well for attracting new prospects or investment.