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Wallethub wanted to study the science of happiness beyond financial motives, particularly with regards to location to see if they could pinpoint the happiest places to live. Out of 150 areas studied, D.C. scored as the 10th happiest place to live. (Image: Amanda Andrade-Rhoades/ DC Refined)

D.C. makes list of top 10 happiest places to live

You know how your mom would always tell you "money can't buy happiness?" Well, as much as we hate to contradict mom, the findings of a recent Wallethub study say she's wrong. Financial well-being does contribute to an individual's happiness, but only up to an income level of $75,000 annually-- any higher, and money ceases to influence a person’s contentment with life.

But Wallethub wanted to study the science of happiness beyond financial motives, particularly with regards to location to see if they could pinpoint the happiest places to live. Out of 150 areas studied, D.C. scored as the 10th happiest place to live.

Researchers found that the key ingredients to happiness include a positive mental state, healthy physique, strong social connections, job satisfaction and financial well-being. To identify "happy" places, Wallethub’s analysts compared 150 of the largest U.S. cities across 30 key metrics. The data set ranges from "depression rate" to "income-growth rate" to "average leisure time spent per day."

Here are a few of the key findings for DC:

  • We are 1st in income growth rate
  • We are 2nd in lowest suicide rates
  • We are 2nd in average leisure time spent per day
  • We are 3rd in lowest heart disease rates
  • We are 4th in job security
  • We are 8th in job satisfaction
  • We are 11th in volunteer rates

But you know where we don't rank so high? It probably won't be a shock, but many of our below average happiness areas are work-related. Unemployment rates, number of weekly work hours and commute time were all in the bottom 50, along wih separation and divorce rates, ideal weather, life expectancy and binge drinking rates. So if you are looking to move, you may want to check out the nine cities that beat us out on the happiness scale, below.

Top 10 Happiest Places to Live

  1. Fremont, CA
  2. San Jose, CA
  3. Irvine, CA
  4. San Francisco, CA
  5. Sioux Falls, SD
  6. Huntington Beach, CA
  7. San Diego, CA
  8. Oakland, CA
  9. Santa Rosa, CA
  10. Washington, DC

For the full report, visit Wallethub online.

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