Here Is the Happiest City in the U.S.

'My findings indicate if you want to get happy, don't try to change your belief system — change your environment,' says report's author

by Janine Puhak | Updated 21 Oct 2017 at 9:26 AM

Whether you’re itching for a peaceful weekend getaway or hunting for a new hometown, National Geographic can make that decision a whole lot easier.

Releasing its annual “Happiest Cities in the U.S.” list on October 18, NatGeo crowned Boulder, Colorado, as the cheeriest place to be.

Partnering with Gallup and best-selling travel author Dan Buettner, the group created the list after conducting almost 250,000 interviews with Americans from all over, taking into account several factors including emotional, physical and financial wellness.

“My findings indicate that if you want to get happy, don’t try to change your belief system. Change your environment,” Buettner said in the report.

Boulder is lauded for its gorgeous mountain setting, commitment to sustainability and a strong sense of community — so it’s logical its citizens would be happy people. The city is also famed for its frontier history and serves as the home to the main campus of the University of Colorado.

It’s not too crowded, either. The population of Boulder — settled in 1858 — currently rests at about 108,000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Noting the close correlation between happiness and bike-ability in the rankings, Buettner added that Boulder’s fabulous bicycle access (over 300 miles of dedicated bikeways) certainly boosts its charm.

“In Boulder, you’re more likely to hear the whoosh of a cyclist than the shrill of a siren compared to places like Dallas, Tallahassee or Los Angeles. Cities like Boulder question the unquestioned virtues of development,” he said.

Chapman is road bike approved. #ridewithbcs

A post shared by Boulder Cycle Sport (@bouldercyclesport) on

Nevertheless, it takes time and effort to cultivate an all-around happy city, Buettner said.

“There’s a genesis to it. Enlightened leaders make conscious decisions to favor quality of life over economic development or political expediency,” he added.

Rounding out the second, third, fourth and fifth spots on NatGeo’s list are Santa Cruz-Watsonville, California; Charlottesville, Virginia; Fort Collins, Colorado; and San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles Arroyo Grande, California, respectively.

Boulder, here we come.

This Fox News piece is used by permission.

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(photo credit, homepage image: Boulder Colorado…, CC BY-SA 3.0, by Brylie Oxley; photo credit, article image: Boulder Colorado, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Pedro Szekely)

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