Irvine and Huntington Beach are No. 2 and No. 5 Happiest Cities in America

Irvine Business Complex (City of Irvine)

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 Pier (surfcityusa.com)

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.

OC Weekly Editor-in-Chief 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 alternative newsweekly’s first calendar editor.

14 Replies to “Irvine and Huntington Beach are No. 2 and No. 5 Happiest Cities in America”

  1. So, two of the most completely disparate communities in the county one might think of, with different socioeconomics, and which are so concerned with community that they refuse to address homelessness and are being sued by the feds are the “happiest” places in the US?… I the site’s population samples (which I’m positive were small, lean affluent, and likely nonrepresentative of the each populations’ make-up) is worth about as much as the toilet paper I’m about to utilize.

    1. Don’t be a moron. What is truly needed is mental health facilities which should be the responsibility of the state. Housing is not the answer. Unfortunately the idiots in Sacramento have allowed state employee pensions to get out of control, meaning no money left for the most vulnerable in society. Don’t place the burden on cities that I’m sure already pay massive taxes. Enjoy using your toilet paper – you’re certainly an expert in what you’re using it on.

    2. At the risk of sounding cynical, not addressing the homelessness problem is probably part of why Irvine ranks so high. The city is micromanaged by an aggressive police fo4ce and city government so that the ills of urban life are greatly diminished. Downtown Irvine is basically the commercial hub of Orange County, much like downtown LA is for LA County. However, unlike downtown LA, the streets of Irvine are clean and largely free of crime and homeless people. Irvine is essentially the epitome of “not in my backyard.” And the kind of dark truth of it is, that’s a big part of what makes Irvine such a nice place to live.

      I lived in Irvine for several years. The city is very homogenous.. It’s got a lot of racial diversity, but mainly among racial groups that tend to be wealthier (white, Asian, Indian, and Middle Eastern). There isn’t a poor part of Irvine that wasn’t part of the survey. It is a centrally planned community where most (if not all) multifamily units are literally owned by the Irvine company. It’s basically a gated community with a quarter-million residents.

      The one exception is the UC campus, of course, which has 20,000+ students. There you will get the most economic and non-Asian racial diversity.

    3. to whisperer, Patrick and Jew boy, obviously you guys are clueless. I been living here in Huntington Beach for the pass 14 years. born and raised in East LA, been a gang member got out and got an education. build a business in investment properties. never thought I would be living here in HB, my neighbors are Jews, Chinese, Vietnamese, Caucasian and yours truly Mexican. There are no Nazi Groups, yes there are homeless but that’s everywhere in California due to Fascist Socialist Party in this state! educate yourself on the facts, not on the media. with more idiots being voted in from the same party this whole state will become a cesspool like the city of San Francisco. I guess you like the fact that “Taxation without representation” meaning the more you work the more taxes they take and the more freebies they give out for votes. wake up!

  2. When I was a teen in Irvine 20-some years ago, my buddy with the giant punk hair got pulled over by Irvine PD every single time he came to see me in Woodbridge.

    Now, my short and soft spoken black workout buddy who lives there has the police drive slowly by his quiet street regularly if he’s talking in his driveway with friends. Obviously a neighbor is reporting him and dispatch is sending a car.

    Irvine’s not so happy for him.

    I’m Jewish, and I’m in HB at least 3 days a week. There’s a swastika carved into the pavement near our regular appointment. It’s got the highest concentration of hard core white supremacists. A friend of a friend who works at juvenile hall says the white neo-Nazi kids always are from HB. They have meetings in older residents’ houses. My friend’s next door neighbor is part of a neo-Nazi group that has been connected to murders. Good thing she’s not Jewish.

    HB’s not so happy for me either.

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