Two Orange County cities cracked a top 10 list of happiest cities in America, with Irvine at No. 2 and Huntington Beach at No. 5.
Plano, Texas, is the happiest city in the U.S., according to the WalletHub survey.
The personal finance website ranked 182 cities by “emotional & physical well-being,” “income & employment” and “community & environment.”
Irvine came in 14th for emotional & physical well-being, 11th for income & employment and fifth in community & environment for a total score of 71.86, which is five-tenths higher than the No. 3 city, Madison, Wisconsin. Last year, Irvine was ranked the eighth happiest city, just ahead of Huntington Beach at No. 9.
Huntington Beach this year came in sixth for emotional & physical well-being, 46th for income & employment and 28th in community & environment for a total score of 69.74 and sandwiched between No. 4 Fremont, California, which was last year’s No. 1, and No. 6 Fargo, North Dakota. Surf City takes over the No. 5 spot that Plano occupied last year.
Anaheim includes Disneyland, which as everyone with a marketing degree knows is the Happiest Place on Earth, but the city came in 22nd in the 2019 WalletHub rankings.
Garden Grove is No. 40, Santa Ana is No. 57 and Long Beach is No. 71.
Pulling up dead last is Detroit, Michigan, at No. 182.
Among individual categories, Irvine is No. 2 and Huntington Beach is No. 4 in “sports participation,” where Seattle is No. 1. And Irvine is also No. 2 in “lowest separation & divorce rate,” which has Plano at No. 4 and, at No. 1, Fremont.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.