Happiest, Most Miserable Cities (Illinois Only Makes ONE Of These Lists)

Is your city happy? Like really happy? Like top-25 in the nation happy?

… or is it really miserable?

Gallup surveyed 354,473 people to create a Well-Being Index with Healthways, a wellness organization. As Yahoo Finance puts it, the index was created to measure “whether individuals feel a sense of purpose, have supportive relationships, are financially secure, satisfied with their community, and are in good physical health.”

189 metropolitan areas ended up being surveyed. From that, it was determined people in the Naples–Immokalee-Marco Island, Florida metro area report the highest well-being. Fort Smith, on the border of Arkanasas an Oklahoma, report the lowest well-being.


No cities in Illinois found their way to the top of the happiest cities list. One city did make the more infamous most miserable cities list.

Rockford, IL, I have some bad news… You’re number 12 on the most miserable cities list.

“Like in a number of other low-well being metro areas, Rockford’s population is shrinking,” the survey remarked. “The population declined by 2.5% between 2010 and 2015, while populations grew nationwide and in most metro areas. Just 72.9% of surveyed area residents are satisfied with the place in which they live, much lower than the comparable national share of 85.0% and one of the lowest percentages of areas reviewed.”

You can see a full rundown of the top and bottom 25 cities, along with the reasoning for their placements, here. Below is a quick top 10…

Happiest Cities

1. Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island, FL
2. Barnstable Town, MA
3. Santa Cruz-Watsonville, CA
4. Urban Honolulu, HI
5. Charlottesville, VA
6. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
7. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles-Arroyo Grande, CA
8. Lynchburg, VA
9. Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort, SC
10. Boulder, CO

Most Miserable Cities

1. Fort Smith, AR-OK
2. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, NC
3. Huntington-Ashland, WV-KY-OH
4. Topeka, KS
5. Canton-Massillon, OH
6. Flint, MI
7. Chico, CA
8. Beaumont-Port Arthur, TX
9. Erie, PA
10. Montgomery, AL


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