The Happiest Counties in the U.S.
If you have always dreamed of living in a happy place, move to New Jersey or Virginia. When SmartAsset.com ranked almost every county in the U.S. — from marriage rates to poverty to life expectancy–to determine the happiest, three of the top 10 were in New Jersey and two were in Virginia.
The top 10 happiest U.S. counties (2016):
- Loudoun County, Virginia
- Fairfax County, Virginia
- Carver County, Minnesota
- Chester County, Pennsylvania
- Hunterdon County, New Jersey
- Morris County, New Jersey
- Howard County, Maryland
- Douglas County, Colorado
- Somerset County, New Jersey
- Ozaukee County, Wisconsin
More facts to know and tell:
- The East Coast Wins. Seven of the top 10 happiest counties are on the East Coast, compared with only one in the West and two in the Midwest.
- New Jersey Gets (an Undeserved) Bad Rap: Not one, not two but three New Jersey counties made the top 10 list. Maybe it’s time to reassess the Garden State’s reputation. Hunterdon, Morris and Somerset counties make a strong case for it. Property taxes in New Jersey may be high, but so, it seems, is morale.
- Why Is the South So Unhappy? The Deep South needs to up its game. Only one Deep South county (Williamson, Tennessee) made the list of the top 25 happiest counties, and none cracked the top 10.
- Marriage Matters: All the counties in the top 25 had marriage rates more than 50 percent, the approximate average marriage rate in the United States. The relationship between marriage and prosperity goes both ways. Wealthy, educated people are more likely to get and stay married, and being married can also boost financial security and wealth (as long as you don’t have a financially irresponsible spouse).
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