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Happiest Cities in the Nation

20. San Antonio

Highest Scoring Area: Personal Purpose

Texas must be a happy place. The state has the second highest number of cities in the top 20 happiest cities in the country. Where San Antonio residents excel most is having fulfillment in regards to purposeful living. Maybe that's why the city ranks as having the happiest workers in all Texas.

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19. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura

Highest Scoring Area: Physical Activity

The Oxnard-Thousand Oaks area is proud of what the community has to offer the world. And so they should be, as they have coastal activities galore. During a quick trip to the harbor, you could see dolphins, whales, and sea lions. Oxnard also ranks as one of the happiest cities to work in, probably because you can see the beach from your office. But that's just our guess.

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18. Bridgeport

Highest Scoring Area: Physical Health

Of the four metropolitan areas in Connecticut, only Bridgeport's can claim to have gained more people since 2010. The area's focus on health is probably due to the fact that the city's two largest employers are hospitals: the St. Vincent's Medical Center and Bridgeport Hospital.

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17. Minneapolis-Saint Paul

Highest Scoring Area: Economic Stability

Minneapolis-Saint Paul residents say they aren't worried about money and are proud of their community. Plus, they aren't too shabby when it comes to being active. The area comes in at #2 on our list of 15 Fittest Cities in America. Low cost of living and tons of public parks sound pretty happy to us.

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16. Boston

Highest Scoring Area: Physical Activity

Where does Boston get its high scoring on physical activity? Its compact layout contributes much to that ranking. As one of the country’s oldest cities, it wasn’t laid out according to a car-friendly grid pattern. Its compact nature means that many people choose to walk to their destination. Couple that with the fourth-busiest rapid transit system in the U.S., and you get a physically active population.

(image via Flickr)

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15. Washington, D.C.

Highest Scoring Area: Economic Stability

Not even the political gridlock of D.C. can keep its residents down! Even though D.C. has a high cost of living, workers there make greater than the national average. Perhaps that's why the city scores so well on economic stability. Maybe the city is so happy because it’s the most educated in the country? Nearly 50% of residents have at least a bachelor’s degree. Compare that to the U.S. average of only 30%.

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14. San Francisco

Highest Scoring Area: Physical Activity

Silicon Valley is completely covered on this list: both San Francisco and San Jose made the cut. Is it really surprising that they both rank highly in regards to economic stability? As the home of nearly every industry leader in tech, San Fran is quickly becoming an economic powerhouse in the internet age. And its workers have the paychecks to prove it!

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13. Charleston

Highest Scoring Area: Supportive Relationships

Charleston’s reputation as a popular tourist destination surely contributes to the happiness of its residents. When people are coming to visit your city because of your unique culture, architecture, and cuisine, how can you not be just a little bit proud of your hometown? Its high ranking in the supportive relationships category shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has visited this hospitable place.

(image via Flickr)

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12. San Jose

Highest Scoring Area: Economic Stability

Is it any surprise that the people who live in Silicon Valley feel economically stable? We didn't think so either. Plus, like all the other Californian cities, San Jose does well when it comes to physical wellness. Running outside underneath the palm trees? You can sign us up!

(image via Flickr)

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11. Miami

Highest Scoring Area: Personal Purpose

If there's one common thread between all of the cities that score highly on physical activity, it's that they are located in sunny weather locales that are oftentimes near the beach. Florida and California really rack up points on this component. Miami is no exception! The city is also one of the richest in the country in terms of its purchasing power.

(image via Facebook)

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10. Raleigh

Highest Scoring Area: Community Pride

The Raleigh-Cary metropolitan area has much to be proud off in the past few years. Since 2010, the area’s population has boomed 18%, thanks largely to its anchor position as part of the North Carolina Research Triangle. The integration and promotion of top-notch research universities in the area have led to a large influx of traditional technology and biotech firms, as well as financial institutions.

(image via Flickr)

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9. Provo

Highest Scoring Area: Supportive Relationships

Provo is near the top of the community pride component for the entire country. Not only that, but the city scores well when it comes to supportive relationships. It probably helps when everyone is of the same faith tradition; 89% of residents are members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

(image via rickety, CC)

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8. McAllen

Highest Scoring Area: Personal Purpose

Thanks to a booming binational economy (the city is located deep in the southeast of Texas along the Rio Grande), McAllen reduced its unemployment rate from 22.6% in 1990 down to an impressive 7.7% by 2006 and 4.8% as of September 2017. All of that job growth probably had something to do with the population growing by 10% since 2010.

(image via Facebook)

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7. Grand Rapids

Highest Scoring Area: Community Pride

One of the reasons Grand Rapids residents have to be prideful is that their community has a particularly diverse economy. Because of this, it's been able to escape the downturn other auto industry-centric cities in Michigan. Though the winters may be cold, there are pleasant parks along the Grand River to frequent during warming months of the year.

(image via Facebook)

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6. Cape Coral-Fort Myers

Highest Scoring Area: Supportive Relationships

Residents in the Cape Coral-Fort Myers Area say that they receive positive energy from their families and friends, which makes sense considering the beautiful weather and proximity to the beach. Just looking out at the ocean is enough to diffuse any stressful situation. Citizens also spend a lot of time outdoors adding to their physical well-being.

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5. Durham-Chapel Hill

Highest Scoring Area: Supportive Relationships

The communal aspects of Durham-Chapel Hill are rooted in their college town personas. Chapel Hill is home to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, which is probably why 73% of residents have a bachelor's degree or higher. Durham is home to Duke University which, along with its associated health system, is the largest employer in Durham and as of the largest private employers in the state of North Carolina.

(image via Flickr)

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4. San Diego

Highest Scoring Area: Physical Health

No surprise here. San Diego's highest-scoring indicator is physical health. All that sunny weather gives people the perfect excuse to take a walk outside, ride a bike, or go for a swim in the ocean. It's also a proud community that likes to flaunt its success, and when you rank highly in just about every list, why not?

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3. Honolulu

Highest Scoring Area: Personal Purpose

With 300 days of sunshine, how could you not be happy? We're thinking there will always be demand in Hawaii for people to enter the travel industry. A fourth of Hawaii's gross state product comes from tourism alone. The low unemployment rate keeps the residents from feeling listless, making for a high personal purpose rating.

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2. El Paso

Highest Scoring Area: Personal Purpose

The most populous city in West Texas ranks in the nation’s top 5 on the personal purpose component. Happy workers are the city's strong suit, and the city ranks well for compensation, low cost of living, job opportunities, and work-life balance.

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1. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton

Highest Scoring Area: Economic Stability

While California might have four cities on the list, the most of any state, Florida is no slouch! It has 3, tied for second most with Texas. The North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton metro area's particular strong points are physical health, with ample areas for outdoor activities, and a lack of concern about money, meaning these Floridians live within their means and manage their assets well.

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