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18 December . 2017

Austin named one of the Happiest Cities in the United States

Austin got an early Christmas gift this year, when the November issue of National Geographic magazine named it as one of the Happiest Cities in the United States.

Coming in at No. 25, Austin was the only Texas city on the Nat Geo list. In fact, it was the only city in the South to make the cut.

To create the list, Nat Geo partnered with Gallup to develop an index of 15 metrics that have been statistically associated with doing well and feeling good. In other words, with happiness.  These included eating healthy, learning something new every day, civic engagement, financial security and vacation time.

The authors state: “Research indicates that the variabilities of place play an important role in whether locals feel happy. In happier places….locals smile and laugh more often, socialize several hours a day, have access to green spaces, and feel that they are making purposeful progress toward achieving life goals.”

In particular, the study noted strong correlations between bikeability and happiness in a city.

Water quality was another strong link. In fact, Austin is represented in the article by a photo of Barton Springs, widely regarded as Austin’s crown jewel.

This study comes just a few months after Men’s Health magazine ranked Austin No. 2 on its list of America’s Most Adventurous Cities, noting its 21,000 acres of open green space and 227 miles of trails.

With more than 700 acres of parks, trails and open green space, Sweetwater would surely rank high on a list of the happiest communities, if anybody ever did such a study. Explore more about Sweetwater’s recreational amenities.