When you live in DFW, you realize it’s a huge place, made up of individual cities. Sometimes that idea can be overwhelming. And sometimes, having our own little city is comforting with so much going on. The Dallas Morning Newsreported on WalletHub’ annual report of the happiest places to live.
This North Texas city was just named the happiest in America
The happiest city in America isn’t in sunny, coastal California or even the cozy well-off suburbs of the Northeast but right here in North Texas, according to an analysis by WalletHub.
What exactly makes for a happy city?
To answer that, the folks at WalletHub tapped into findings of a relatively modern development in the psychological field called positive-psychology, or the scientific study of what makes life worth living.
The analysis factored in depression rates, income growth, daily leisure time, divorce rates, hate crimes, weather and 26 other indicators of happiness to determine which cities in the U.S. showed the strongest signs of measurable happiness.
Topping the list is Plano.
Plano posted consistently high scores for emotional and physical well-being, community and environment, and income and employment. Grand Prairie came in 7th, and Irving, Fort Worth, Garland and Arlington all scored in the top 50. Dallas finished 68th.
Austin, with its beautiful lakes and natural rolling hills, landed in 14th.
But a closer look at what critics have to say about positive-psychology could provide some relief to anyone dismayed by their hometown’s ranking.
According to a paper published in the Society for Existential Analysis Journal, aspects of positive-psychology like the propensity to be upbeat and optimistic also can be correlated with a sense of disillusionment. Growing research shows that individuals with depressive tendencies may have a more accurate grasp on reality, according to the same paper.
Are residents in Plano, where divorce rates are low and incomes are high, really the happiest in the nation or is it all an illusion? Given recent research suggesting happiness is linked to a longer life, the big question for any would-be psychologists out there is: Does it matter?