Happy Town

Houston ranked one of the happiest cities in America, but it can't beat a strange choice for No. 1

Houston ranked one of happiest cities in U.S., but can't beat No. 1

Houston skyline with buildings day
Houston ranked as the No. 6 happiest metropolitan area in the nation according to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. EverydayHoustonHomes.com

In spite of how you may feel during your daily commute, Houston has been named the sixth happiest metropolitan area in the nation according to a new study released by the U.S. National Bureau of Economic Research.

The study, called "Unhappy Cities," examined a survey of metropolitan areas in the U.S. with more than one million people and asked individuals about their overall satisfaction — often interpreted as happiness — with their lives. According to the study, satisfaction indicates that people may be more willing to endure lower levels of happiness in exchange for higher incomes or lower housing costs.

“Our research indicates that people care about more than happiness alone, so other factors may encourage them to stay in a city despite their unhappiness,” Joshua Gottlieb, co-author of the study, tells the Daily Mail.

Certain factors, such as job opportunities and cost of living, play significant roles when a person chooses where to live.

For example, New York ranks as the nation's unhappiest region according to the study, but individuals continue to flock to the area for higher incomes and better job prospects.

The full Top 10 list of the happiest metropolitan areas in the U.S.:

1. Richmond, Virginia
2. Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Virginia
3. Washington, D.C.
4. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina
5. Atlanta, Georgia
6. Houston, Texas
7. Jacksonville, Florida
8. Nashville, Tennessee
9. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, Florida
10. Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon, New Jersey

An older 2013 study by Harris Interactive, one of the world's leading research firms, found that the Dallas-Fort Worth area ranked as the No. 1 happiest metropolitan area in the nation, with the Houston area coming in at No. 2.

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