Life's still good in two Dallas-Fort Worth cities, where folks are among the happiest in the country — and they're even happier than last year, a report from WalletHub finds.
The personal finance site reviewed 31 "key indicators of happiness," including income-growth rate, average leisure time spent on a given day, and depression rate, in more than 180 cities to determine the happiest places in the U.S.
Plano takes the No. 1 spot — making it the happiest place in America — for 2019, and Grand Prairie lands at No. 7. Those are improvements from last year, when Plano came in at No. 5 and Grand Prairie placed at No. 10. Other DFW cities appear much lower on the list: Irving (No. 31), Fort Worth (No. 42), Garland (No. 47), Arlington (No. 49), and Dallas (No. 68). Austin is the only other Texas city in the top 20, at No. 14.
Plano ranked sixth in income and employment, seventh in emotional and physical well-being, and eighth in community and environment. Grand Prairie ranked sixth in community and environment, 20th in emotional and physical well-being, and 35th in income and employment.
"Location plays a hand in how bright or gloomy our days are," the report says. "For years, researchers have studied the science of happiness and found that its key ingredients include a positive mental state, healthy body, strong social connections, job satisfaction and financial well-being. However, money can only make you so happy – people who make $75,000 a year won’t get any higher satisfaction from more money."
Maybe there's something to the old adage "happy wife, happy life" in Plano, where the separation and divorce rate is the fourth lowest in the country. The three cities with lower rates are Fremont, California (No. 1); Irvine, California (No. 2), and Gilbert, Arizona (No. 3).
Meanwhile, other Texas cities fall on the unhappy end of the spectrum, including Brownsville (No. 86), San Antonio (No. 97), Amarillo (No. 98), Houston (No. 106), Laredo (No. 111), Lubbock (No. 124), and Corpus Christi (No. 129). El Paso tied with Arlington at No. 49.