While New Yorkers are commonly classified as being rude and fast-paced, according to a new study, we are also unhappier than other city dwellers.
The “Unhappy Cities” study administered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over the last few years asked participants, “In general, how satisfied are you with your life?” The results showed that those living in the Big Apple had sour moods, ranking the least happy.
The study, which adjusted for income, age, housing prices, and other influences that might have effected how “happy” a city can be, found that people were willing to trade in their happiness for higher paychecks or for a lower cost of living.
“One interpretation of these facts is that individuals do not aim to maximize self-reported well-being, or happiness, as measured in surveys, and they willingly endure less happiness in exchange for higher incomes or lower housing costs,” the study stated.
Richmond, Virginia ranked the happiest city, with Norfolk-Virginia Beach, Virginia coming in second, and Washington, DC in third. Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia respectively rounded out the top five.
While New York is considered the most unhappiest metropolitan area, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Louisville, Kentucky, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Detroit, Michigan followed, making up the top five.
New York contains a population of 8.4 million people, showing that prestigious, high paying jobs are more attractive to residents than overall happiness.
Do you live in New York and consider yourself happy or unhappy? Did your city make one of the lists? A friend of mine commented that happiness depends on each person and there are plenty of happy New Yorkers. Even though this friend lives in a rough area of Brooklyn, they still consider themselves happy. I think that it is ironic that this study came out just when my wanderlust has been nudging at me. While I consider myself happy and have always loved being in New York, I do feel like I need a change of pace and would like to travel more and settle down somewhere further south.