This City Was Just Named the Happiest in the U.S.

Looking to find a little happiness? Easy. Just book a trip to Minneapolis. 

Each year, The Institute for Quality of Life creates an index of the happiest cities on the planet, going into great detail in its analysis to quantify what, exactly, defines happiness and how to measure it in a place. 

“The ranking was created on the basis of thousands of indicators thoroughly developed by our researchers that directly relate to the quality of life and the sense of happiness of its residents,” the organization’s methodology page reads. “Importantly, we do not analyze the happiness of an imaginary individual in every location in the world, but people actually living in these cities.” 

After looking at all their data, it named the tiny town of Aarhus, Denmark, as the happiest in the world. But just a few spots down, it added Minneapolis, to its “Gold” ranked list, making it the No. 1 in the U.S.

The organization added that it makes “every effort to objectively and reliably assess what is most important for city dwellers and, on this basis, assess the sense of happiness,” which it collects through open data and interviews with residents. And it appears the residents of the Minnesota city are quite happy with their way of life. 

For starters, it’s a rather outdoor friendly spot. As its parks department boasts, it’s home to 180 parks with 55 miles of biking and walking paths to explore. It proudly adds that there are also “22 lakes, 12 gardens, and seven golf courses,” so you can always find a place to stop and literally smell the roses. 

The city also has a robust public transportation system, including buses, a light rail, and a commuter train that make it easy to get to and from work or just to explore every inch of the area. 

And, perhaps most importantly, it’s a relatively affordable place to call home. Minneapolis ranked sixth in Livability’s rankings of best places to live in 2022, with the website noting it scored high marks thanks to its “innovative economy that touches a breadth of industries from software to renewable energy.”

It noted there are also lots of fun activities to be had, including visiting its “local microbreweries in the hip North Loop, wonderful waterways that include 22 lakes in city limits … as well as color-saturated, commissioned murals that complement the arts and music scene.” And, it also added that “every resident in Minneapolis is within six blocks of a park, making this Twin City a gem for outdoors lovers, families with kids, and pet-loving residents.” 

So next time you feel like you need a little more joy, go ahead and book that ticket to Minneapolis. Who knows? You may love it so much that the ticket becomes a one-way trip. 

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