2022 Happiest Places to Live in America: California Cities Dominate

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These days, Americans have plenty to be stressed about. As the number of coronavirus cases drops around the world, the World Health Organization says it’s too early to declare the pandemic over. And Russia’s invasion of Ukraine created a refugee crisis and choppy markets – with U.S. and European officials predicting the conflict will only get worse.

While the cities Americans live in should bring them comfort, it turns out that some places might stress them out more than people realize. Researchers have found that people’s living conditions can have a significant impact on their mental health.

WalletHub, a financial website that helps users learn more about their loans and credit scores, has compiled its annual list of the happiest places to live in the United States – and it looks like the West Coast is the best place to be.

WalletHub ranked these locations after looking at the rate of depression in each US city, the growth rate of a resident’s income, the amount of leisure time they spend per day, and other factors.

Here are the top five US cities:

1. Fremont, California

WalletHub lists Fremont, California in its 2022 list as one of the happiest cities in the United States of America.pankajd7 / Getty Images/500px

Fremont, California, takes the top spot as the happiest city in the United States. It is located near Silicon Valley, southeast of San Francisco Bay and has a population of over 231,000.

In 2021, CDP, a nonprofit charity that manages the global environmental disclosure system for businesses and subnational governments, donated to the city an A-ranking to act against climate change.

Not only that, last year WalletHub ranked Fremont as one of America’s Least Stressed Cities and the second best place to raise a family. He also ranked #5 as America’s most caring cityand this year, WalletHub named it the city with the lowest separation and divorce rate.

2. Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, Maryland
WalletHub lists Columbia, Maryland in its 2022 list as one of the happiest cities in the United States of America.Denis Tangney Jr / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Located between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Columbia has a diverse population of 53.% white, 26.6% black or African American, 12.7% Asian and 9.4% Hispanic or Latino residents, according to the Census Bureau2021 report.

With a population of nearly 100,000 people, Columbia still feels cosmopolitan with its access to three international airports. And the city’s downtown is home to more than 2,500 large and small businesses and more than 50 non-profit organizations, making the city’s employment rate very attractive.

In 2021, WalletHub ranked Columbia as the best city to find a job and safest city in america. This year, WalletHub also recognized Columbia as the second place in the United States with the lowest suicide rate.

3. San Francisco, California

WalletHub lists San Francisco, California in its 2022 list as one of the happiest cities in the United States of America.
WalletHub lists San Francisco, California in its 2022 list as one of the happiest cities in the United States of America.Steve Proehl/Getty Images

San Francisco is home to famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Ferry Building Marketplace. The city, with its magnificent ocean views and access to numerous hiking trails, is so alluring that before the pandemic it welcomed millions of tourists each year who spent about $24.5 million a day about the city’s attractions.

Although those the numbers have since dropped since COVID-19 protocols began taking place in 2020, San Francisco is still considered one of the best tourist attractions in the USA.

The city is known for its gastronomic festivals which feature cuisine from around the world, such as a taste of Greece, and the annual Soy & Tofu Festival, which features a fun tofu-eating contest.

In 2021, WalletHub ranked San Francisco as the fourth best place in the United States to cater for vegans behind Los Angeles, Orlando, Florida and Portland, Oregon.

4. San Jose, California

WalletHub lists San Jose, California in its 2022 list as one of the happiest cities in the United States of America.
WalletHub lists San Jose, California in its 2022 list as one of the happiest cities in the United States of America.Keith Lance/Getty Images

Don’t overlook San Jose, California, located in the heart of Silicon Valley. This year, WalletHub ranked it #4 for having the lowest rate of depression in America and #5 for having thehighest separation and divorce rate.

When tourists visit this humble city, they love to see the Winchester mystery housemade famous by Helen Mirren in her 2018 film “Winchester”.

While San Jose may seem like the perfect place to buy a home, it’s worth noting that the tech boom has dramatically increased the cost of living the.

However, all is not so bad, as Silicon Valley has also drawn attention to the Northern California city.

Santana Row, a residential neighborhood in West San Jose, is home to more than 50 shops and 30 restaurants, so there’s always something to do. Dining options can range from a good old-fashioned burger to the most exquisite Asian cuisine. Residents like to call Santana Row the Rodeo Drive of Silicon Valley.

South San Jose is also perfect for those who enjoy spending their time outdoors, as it offers some of the best access to hiking and biking trails. If you take a trip to Alum Rock, you’ll find San Jose’s Lick Observatory and Raging Waters Water Park.

5. Irvine, CA

North Lake at dusk, Irvine, California
WalletHub lists Irvine, California in its 2022 list as one of the happiest cities in the United States of America.Eric Lo/Getty Images

With long sunny days, Irvine, California prides itself on being a family-friendly town. In 2021, WalletHub ranked it #3 on its list for the best places to raise a family. It is also tied with Scottsdale, Arizona this year as the fifth-best US city with the highest sports participation rate.

According to the city official siteIrvine can give children a “first-class public education”. Irvine Unified School District states that it has been “nationally recognized for comprehensive academic, artistic and athletic programs”.

Irvine is also great for its leisure experiences. It has 23 community parks, 146 sports fields and a regional park. Not to mention, Niche – a website that connects schools with students – ranked Irvine as the second healthiest place to live in America in 2021.

More places to live in the USA 2022

  • 6.Madison, Wisconsin
  • 7.Seattle, Washington
  • 8. Overland Park, Kansas
  • 9. Huntington Beach, California

10. San Diego, California

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