Why is H-Town smiling?

Dallas ranks first, Houston second in the happiness factor, San Francisco lands dead last

Dallas first, Houston second in the happiness factor

News_I heart Hou_heart clouds Houston skyline_Feb 10
Houstonians' solid relationships with their friends and family contributed to the city's high ranking in happiness. Photo illustration by Sarah Rufca

Houston, we don't have a problem. So says revered pollster Harris Interactive, which reports the results from a recent study of the country's 10 major markets in which 36 percent of Houstonians described themselves as "very happy."

That's ahead of the national average of 33 percent, but still only good enough for second place. Dallasites topped the list with 38 percent claiming to be very happy — that is at least until the Cowboys start their lurch towards a 6-10 season and plunge the city into a deep funk.

Houstonians seem to be a rather religious lot as 79 percent agree that "My spiritual beliefs are a positive guiding force to me," which is way ahead of the national average of 67 percent.

When it comes to national issues, 67 percent of H-town citizenry believes that their voices are not heard in national decisions. On average nationally, 70 percent of the populace feels it isn't heard.

One surprising statistic — despite Houston's strong economy, 62 percent worry about their financial situations and 39 percent find their work frustrating. Is that in conflict with the 79 percent of respondents who reported they're optimistic about the future? 

One way we've got Dallas beat: Only 53 percent of Houstonians worry about their health compared to 59 percent in our northern neighbor. Way to go Texas Medical Center for keeping us healthy. 

The next time a torrential thunderstorm snarls traffic on the Southwest Freeway or the mayoral candidates snipe at each other, take a deep breath and try to relax. At least we aren't living in San Francisco where only 28 percent of the residents are very happy.