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The happiest cities in America in 2017

A WalletHub report

While there may be unrest and turmoil in the world, there are still plenty of reasons to be happy. Think about newborn babies, gorgeous sunsets, and a warm home-cooked meal if you can't come up with a reason to smile. Even if you are feeling down, there is always a bright side, and if we turn those frowns upside-down, we can see the best that life has to offer. Anytime, anywhere. Although some "anywheres" may be better than others.

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WalletHub, a personal finance site, reviewed the 150 largest cities in America to determine which were the happiest in 2017. But what does "happiness" truly consist of? As per WalletHub, "For years, researchers have studied the science of happiness and found that its key ingredients include a positive mental state, healthy physique, strong social connections, job satisfaction and financial well-being." And much of this happiness is determined by where a person lives.

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By using 30 key gauges of happiness, WalletHub's team of experts weighed and ranked the 150 cities in their study to compile their list from happiest to least happy. These 30 items all fell into three key dimensions – physical and emotional well-being, employment and income, and environment and community. Indicators of happiness reviewed include the city's depression rates, adequate sleep rates, obesity rates, level of participation in sports and activities, suicide rates, average work hours per week, income growth potential, volunteering participation rates, separation and divorce rates, average leisure time spent per day, percentage of adults who have experienced a heart attack, etc. Using their unique methodology, WalletHub was able to organize these 150 cities by measuring these well-reviewed and assessed findings.

Are you ready to smile? Here are the top 10 happiest places to live in the U.S. as per WalletHub:

1.Fremont, CA

2.San Jose, CA

3.Irvine, CA

4.San Francisco, CA

5.Sioux Falls, SD

6.Huntington Beach, CA

7.San Diego, CA

8.Oakland, CA

9.Santa Rosa, CA

10.Washington, DC

It surely looks like California is the land of happiness! With eight out of the top ten spots, this state takes the cake. Moving out west seems to have its advantages. Do you live in one of the top ten happiest cities and agree with WalletHub's ranking? Would you move to a city in the hopes to lift your spirits?

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Some interesting takeaways…

Los Angeles, CA which was ranked at #36, has the lowest depression rate. Sunshine and excitement must make everyone's day. On the flip side, the highest rates of depression were found in Portland, OR. Portland was ranked #59 overall.

WalletHub's #1 pick, Fremont, CA, saw the lowest separation and divorce rate. A happy wife means a happy life? Seems so in Freemont. Detroit, MI, which came in last at #150 had the highest rates of separation and divorce. They say misery loves company, but not in the form of a spouse apparently.

Want to see if your city made WalletHub's list of the 150 happiest cities in America? For more insight on the methodology used in this happiness study as well as the entire 15-city ranking, see the full WalletHub report.

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Happiness is a state of mind, but it is also a state of city according to WalletHub's expert team. "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands," because you probably live in Fremont!

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