Vegan burger food truck from Austin closes outpost in Denton

Vegan burger food truck from Austin closes outpost in Denton

Things look particularly cheerful Fresh AND Planhome to some of the happiest people in the US, according to a new study.

Two Texas cities land at the top of a new study from SmartAsset that ranks the 50 places Americans are happiest in 2022. Frisco comes in at No. 5 and Plano at No. 6.

The study analyzes the 200 largest cities by comparing 13 different metrics in three categories: personal finance, well-being and quality of life.

“Research shows that in some cases, money leads to happiness,” the report says. “In fact, a 2021 University of Pennsylvania study found a correlation between happiness and income growth, even beyond an annual income of $80,000. This contrasts with previous research that found happiness stagnated after a individual earned $75,000. However, not all countries can offer the same level of happiness, as some cities offer more economic opportunities and a better quality of life than others.”

Six California cities dominated the top 10, and Frisco and Plano were the only Texas cities to make it. Austin ranked slightly lower on the list, at number 20.

To conduct their study, SmartAsset analyzed four metrics related to the personal finance category. Metrics included the percentage of individuals earning $100,000 or more annually, cost of living as a percentage of income, personal bankruptcy filings and down payment to income ratios.

To research each city’s level of well-being, SmartAsset studied the percentage of reported days of poor mental health, life expectancy rates, the percentage of reported physical inactivity and the percentage of adults with health insurance.

Cities’ quality of life was calculated based on the percentage of adults living below the poverty level, marriage rates, average commute time, violent crime rates and the concentration of restaurants, bars and entertainment facilities within each city.

In the study, the happiest cities all have high rates of marriage. Married residents make up the majority of the population in all but one of the top 10 cities: Arlington, Virginia. Of those cities, Frisco has the highest marriage rate at 62.6 percent, according to the study.

In addition to the scale no. 1 marriage, Frisco has the lowest percentage of residents living below the poverty level, at 2.5 percent. It also ranks second for typical costs of living compared to median household income (29.55 percent). With a violent crime rate of about 86 crimes per 100,000 residents, it makes sense why this city scored a top-five ranking.

No. 6-ranked Plano has the fourth-highest marriage rate at 56.9 percent and the tenth-lowest violent crime rate at about 155 for every 100,000 residents. Over a third of the population earns $100,000 or more annually, and typical living expenses account for 40.43 percent of the median household income.

This isn’t Plano’s first time in the bright and happy spotlight this year. In March, personal finance website WalletHub ranked Plano as the happiest city in Texas and the 22nd happiest city in the US.

In the study’s SmartAsset ranking index, Austin scored 88.75 out of 100 for personal finance, 76.87 for well-being and 49.35 for quality of life.

Sunnyvale, California was named the happiest place in America for 2022.

To learn more about America’s happiest cities, check out SmartAsset’s study here.

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