Conventional common sense used to argue that cities in warmer climates should be ranked as the most happiest cities in the country. This is generally true with many cities that experience poor weather or rainy weather are often thought of as being more depressing places to live. If this were the case, cities in California or New Mexico should be some of the happiest places on earth, while Seattle and Detroit residents should be depressed. Sunshine has been linked to a number of medical illnesses including Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, in which people report higher levels of depression and dissatisfaction during the dark and cold winter months.
A men’s health magazine recently ranked cities in the United States according to a happiness factor that evaluated each city in the country based on its suicide rate, number of residents on antidepressant medication, and unemployment rate. According to this scale, the saddest place in the country is St. Petersburg, FL, one of the most sunny locales. Other sad cities included Detroit, Memphis, Tampa Bay, Louisville, St. Louis, Birmingham, Miami, Reno and Las Vegas. As you can see by that list, a lot of those cities are in generally sunny and warm states that experience a lot of warm weather throughout the year. This dispels a commonly believed fact that rainy cities are more depression. Wondering which cities were happiest? Those included Honolulu, Manchester, Fargo, Omaha, Boston, and Madison. Because who wouldn’t be happy in Honolulu, right?