This week, WalletHub released the findings of a study on happiness. They tried to gauge the cities with the most of it by looking at a whole swell of factors touching three categories: emotional and physical well-being, income and employment, and community and environment. Things like divorce rates and sports participation feed into the well-being category. Income growth helps make up income. In all, WalletHub used 31 weighted metrics.
When the numbers are all tallied up, North Texas makes out quite nicely. But the big reveal is this: Plano is WalletHub’s happiest city in America.
It lands in the top 10 across the three categories, the only city to do that. It beats out a handful of California cities crowding the top of the list—Irvine, California, is No. 2—as well as Grand Prairie at No. 7.
As with anything, when you get closer up the idyllic Collin County suburb has its warts. It has grown feverishly since 1990, from some 128,000 residents then to an estimated 286,000 in 2017, and there have been a few growing pains. The city is engaged in an ongoing conflict with a group of residents set on protecting Plano against its comprehensive plan toward dense, urban development.
In WalletHub’s data, the rest of North Texas falls inside the happiest third, or close. In all, the personal finance site with a thing for sweeping studies examined 182 cities, the 150 largest plus a few others in more sparsely populated states. Irving ranks 32, Fort Worth falls at 42, Garland is at 47, Arlington at 49, and Dallas at 68.
There’s plenty to twist you up these days. But right now, winter is breaking away and our Arthur fists are beginning to unclench. The birds are singing a springtime song. The St. Paddy’s Day Parade is tomorrow. Perhaps you’re catching a vibe. Dallas is happy.
This is a nice reminder of just how happy.
Here’s the whole country. Hover for rankings: