TaxProf Blog

Editor: Paul L. Caron, Dean
Pepperdine University School of Law

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Happiest (Charlottesville) and Unhappiest (Scranton) Places in America

Vox:  The Happiest Places in America, by Danielle Kurtzleben:

If New York is so unhappy, why do so many people keep living there? That's one of the many questions at stake in a new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research. [Edward L. Glaeser (Harvard), Joshua D. Gottlieb (British Columbia) & Oren Ziv (Harvard), Unhappy Cities]

Researchers from Harvard and the University of British Columbia used people's self-reported life satisfaction data from the CDC to try to determine a geography of American happiness. What they found is that among the biggest metropolitan areas, the Big Apple is the unhappiest. Scranton, Pennsylvania, takes the honor of the least happy metro area of any size. Meanwhile, Richmond is the happiest large metro area, and Charlottesville, Virginia, is the happiest of any size.

Here's a look at what that geography of happiness looks like, after researchers controlled for demographic characteristics like sex, race, and age. Blue represents the highest happiness measure, and red is the lowest.


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What does "controlled for demographic characteristics like sex, race, and age" mean? Are minorities or seniors graded at a different standard of happiness than anybody else?

Posted by: VDM | Jul 26, 2014 6:24:23 PM

So Kentucky and Indiana are the least happy states. I wonder why?

Posted by: FrancisChalk | Jul 27, 2014 6:52:56 PM

Wow, so Scranton managed to get rid of that moron Joe Biden and STILL they are unhappy?
No satisfying them folks up in NE Pa.

Posted by: Civilservant | Jul 28, 2014 10:39:42 AM