This West Coast Town Was Just Voted the Happiest City in America

Six California metropolises made the top 10 in WalletHub's new "Happiest Cities in America" survey

A drone view of the East Bay hills near the historic Niles district is seen in Fremont, Calif., on Monday, Feb. 28, 2022.
Current drought aside, Fremont, CA is considered a very happy place to live.
Jane Tyska/Digital First Media/East Bay Times via Getty Images

It’s been a tough … well, many years. To truly embrace happiness, we’re moving to Fremont.

Surprisingly, that relatively small (230,000+ population) Bay Area municipality just topped WalletHub’s 2022 Happiest Cities in America survey. To determine the winner, a team at the personal finance site compared 182 of the largest cities in the U.S. across three dimensions (Emotional & Physical Well-Being, Income & Employment and Community & Environment) and utilizing 30 metrics, all weighed differently.

And it’s not all about the money. “For years, researchers have studied the science of happiness and found that its key ingredients include a positive mental state, healthy body, strong social connections, job satisfaction and financial well-being,” as WalletHub notes. “However, money can only make you so happy — people who make $75,000 a year won’t get any higher satisfaction from more money.”

Some key findings:

  • Fremont, which easily topped the list with a combined score of 77.13 out of 100, was also the top-rated city for “Emotional & Physical Well-Being.” (You might know the city best for its Tesla factory.)
  • Nearby San Francisco (4th overall) was tops in “Income & Employment.”
  • Casper, WY, ranked first in “Community & Environment” but only 79th overall.
  • Detroit, MI — which is a fairly cool city! — ranked last overall and nearly last in every category.
  • If you want to break down areas by the individual metrics, it’s Pearl City, HI (lowest depression rate), South Burlington, VT (highest adequate sleep rate), Newark, NJ (lowest suicide rate) and Burlington, VT (fewest work hours).

The InsideHook Newsletter.

News, advice and insights for the most interesting person in the room.