Why Aren’t Minnesotans As Happy As Their Neighbors?
Minnesotans have a lot to be proud of.
We've got a lot going for us here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, and regularly find ourselves ranking on lists that have other states turning heads. For instance, just last week Minnesota was named 2021's Best State for Women. Minnesota was recently named the 6th Safest State to live in during COVID-19. In 2020 Minnesota cracked the Top 10 of Most Patriotic States in the country. Last year, ours was named the Least-Stressed State in America. I could go on (seriously, I could -- check out a bunch more times Minnesota ranked high and made back-pat worthy lists here). You'd think we'd be a pretty happy bunch. So why didn't we make the Top 10 List (or even Top 15) of the Happiest Cities in America, but several of our neighbors did?
The folks at WalletHub recently studied the data and crunched the numbers to determine the happiest stations in the U-S of A. They looked at three key dimensions -- (1) Emotional & Physical Well-Being, (2) Income & Employment and (3) Community & Environment -- breaking those down further into 31 relevant metrics to rank 182 of the nation's largest cities from happiest to least happy. According to their findings, the top 10 happiest cities are:
1. Fremont, CA
2. Bismarck, ND
3. Fargo, ND
4. Madison, WI
5. San Jose, CA
6. South Burlington, VT
7. Lincoln, NE
8. Columbia, MD
9. Cedar Rapids, IA
10. Santa Rosa, CA
As you can see, major cities in nearby or surrounding states all made the top 10. Sioux Falls, SD just missed out at No. 11. Where did Minnesota's major cities land? Minneapolis ranked 16th happiest overall with Saint Paul landing at No. 24.
So why did Minnesota's Twin Cities rank lower than some of our neighbors? Well, Minneapolis actually ranked really well in the Emotional and Physical Well-Being category (6) and did ok in the Income and Employment category (28), but took a pretty big hit in the Community and Environment category (115); in light of the events of the past year, that's not exactly a surprise. Bismark, ND -- in contrast -- ranked really well in all three categories (5, 5 and 23 respectively). Worth noting, Minneapolis did rank No. 2 city overall for Highest Adequate Sleep Rate.