If you’re in pursuit of happiness, look no further than the capital city of North Carolina.
Raleigh came in at No. 3 on a list of the top 100 ‘Happiest Cities in America’, according to a recent survey by Men’s Health. The Magazine weighed factors such as the best overall environment including physical and mental health to financial status and well-being. Ironically, the top three cities also happen to be the home of major universities, with the thriving metropolis of Lincoln, Nebraska at No. 1, and Madison, Wisconsin coming in a close second on the list. The lobster haven of Portland, Maine was No. 4, along with the “Big Sky” country of Billings, Montana rounding out the top five.
The research methodology by Men’s Health studied the “well-being (based on predictive Twitter language) and mental health (rates of depression, suicides, and mental-health status) made up 20 percent each in the weighted rankings. These factors each carried 15 percent: community (local organization engagement), financial well-being (employment, income equality, home ownership, and access to adequate housing), environment (park and traffic proximity), and physical health (including activity levels, obesity, and sleep).”
A total of five cities in the Tar Heel State made the list in the top 50 including Raleigh. The neighboring city of Durham fell just outside the top ten at No. 12.; followed by Greensboro at No. 30 and Charlotte at No. 33. The Queen’s City was ranked thirteen spots above Winston-Salem at No. 46, as the last North Carolina city to make the list.
Charleston, South Carolina was the only city from the Palmetto State in the top 100 at No. 18.