30 Worst Cities to Live in if You Care About Your Happiness

Yes, your zip code has a major effect on your mood.

Knoxville, fattest cities, drunkest cities, longest-living cities, best singles scenes, flip a house, sleepless cities
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A number of factors can impact a person's happiness, from their natural disposition to the people they hang out with. But, when it comes to measuring unhappiness, there's another, commonly overlooked factor: Zip code. Just as living in some cities can send your state-of-mind into the stratosphere, living in others can cause your overall mood to plummet—fast.

To find out which U.S. cities are the worst when it comes to happiness, we combed through figures from the Census and Centers for Disease Control on the 200 largest cities in the country, looking at factors most closely associated with happiness level: physical and mental health, employment, family stability, and more. From there, we crunched the numbers to find which cities are most conducive to happiness—and which are prone to misery. Here are the results—ranked in increasing order of unhappiness with our proprietary "Unhappiness Score." And if you're curious where in America people are super happy, don't miss The 50 Cities in America Where People Live the Longest.

30
Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids, longest-living cities, drunkest cities, happiest cities, fattest cities, best singles scenes, flip a house, best job opportunities

Population: 196,445
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 25.8%
Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
Poverty Level: 22.5%
Divorce Rate: 11.3%
Mental Health: 14.0%
Physical Health: 13.5%
Unhappiness Score: 63.10

And for more stats on our country's locales, learn all about The 20 American Cities with the Most Unfaithful Husbands.

29
Winston–Salem, NC

Winston-Salem, drunkest cities, fattest cities, longest-living cities, house flip

Population: 242,203
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 26.7%
Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
Poverty Level: 23.3%
Divorce Rate: 11.4%
Mental Health: 14.1%
Physical Health: 12.9%
Unhappiness Score: 65.40

28
Columbus, GA

Downtown skyline of Columbus Georgia on as the sun is nearly setting
Shutterstock

Population: 197,485
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 26.3%
Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Poverty Level: 21.7%
Divorce Rate: 13.6%
Mental Health: 14.0%
Physical Health: 14.1%
Unhappiness Score: 68.60

Next, check out The 50 Most Caffeinated Cities in America.

27
Philadelphia, PA

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Population: 1,567,872
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 26.5%
Unemployment Rate: 6.8%
Poverty Level: 25.8%
Divorce Rate: 9.2%
Mental Health: 15.3%
Physical Health: 14.6%
Unhappiness Score: 69.00

26
Laredo, TX

Laredo, worst singles scenes, best job opportunities
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Population: 257,156
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 26.2%
Unemployment Rate: 3.2%
Poverty Level: 30.6%
Divorce Rate: 8.7%
Mental Health: 14.2%
Physical Health: 16.0%
Unhappiness Score: 71.10

You also don't want to be single here, as Laredo is one of The 50 Cities with the Worst Singles Scenes in America.

25
Richmond, VA

most sleepless cities

Population: 223,170
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 27.6%
Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Poverty Level: 25.2%
Divorce Rate: 11.5%
Mental Health: 13.8%
Physical Health: 12.3%
Unhappiness Score: 73.50

24
Kansas City, KS

kansas city, missouri

Population: 151,709
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 22.6%
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Poverty Level: 22.3%
Divorce Rate: 13.4%
Mental Health: 13.6%
Physical Health: 13.6%
Unhappiness Score: 73.80

23
St. Louis, MO

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Population: 311,404
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 23.8%
Unemployment Rate: 6.1%
Poverty Level: 25.0%
Divorce Rate: 12.6%
Mental Health: 15.5%
Physical Health: 15.4%
Unhappiness Score: 76.40

22
Brownsville, TX

Brownsville, TX, worst singles scenes, best job opportunities, worst drinking water

Population: 183,823
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 20.3%
Unemployment Rate: 4.3%
Poverty Level: 31.4%
Divorce Rate: 6.9%
Mental Health: 14.3%
Physical Health: 16.5%
Unhappiness Score: 76.70

21
Memphis, TN

Memphis Tennessee American Cities Vacation Destinations
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Population: 652,717
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 22.6%
Unemployment Rate: 6.6%
Poverty Level: 26.9%
Divorce Rate: 10.7%
Mental Health: 15.9%
Physical Health: 16.5%
Unhappiness Score: 77.60

Oh, and by the way, Memphis is among The 50 Fattest Cities in America.

20
New Orleans, LA

new orleans french quarter

Population: 391,495
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 27.5%
Unemployment Rate: 5.3%
Poverty Level: 25.4%
Divorce Rate: 13.3%
Mental Health: 13.3%
Physical Health: 12.7%
Unhappiness Score: 78.50

19
Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee

Population: 595,047
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 22.1%
Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
Poverty Level: 27.4%
Divorce Rate: 10.1%
Mental Health: 15.4%
Physical Health: 14.0%
Unhappiness Score: 78.70

18
Fresno, CA

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Population: 522,053
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 28.7%
Unemployment Rate: 6.8%
Poverty Level: 28.4%
Divorce Rate: 10.4%
Mental Health: 14.6%
Physical Health: 14.3%
Unhappiness Score: 79.20

17
Knoxville, TN

Knoxville, fattest cities, drunkest cities, longest-living cities, best singles scenes, flip a house, sleepless cities

Population: 186,239
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 20.4%
Unemployment Rate: 4.2%
Poverty Level: 26.5%
Divorce Rate: 13.0%
Mental Health: 16.1%
Physical Health: 15.1%
Unhappiness Score: 79.50

Still, it's not all bad news: Knoxville is one of The 50 Cities with the Best Singles Scenes in America.

16
Tucson, AZ

Tucson, drunkest cities, flip a house, rent, property, sleepless cities

Population: 530,706
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 22.3%
Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Poverty Level: 24.1%
Divorce Rate: 13.7%
Mental Health: 14.1%
Physical Health: 14.4%
Unhappiness Score: 79.70

15
Miami, FL

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Population: 453,579
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 22.9%
Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
Poverty Level: 25.8%
Divorce Rate: 13.1%
Mental Health: 13.1%
Physical Health: 15.5%
Unhappiness Score: 80.20

14
Akron, OH

akron Ohio, sleepless cities

Population: 197,633
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 19.3%
Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
Poverty Level: 24.1%
Divorce Rate: 13.5%
Mental Health: 15.6%
Physical Health: 15.2%
Unhappiness Score: 80.40

13
Springfield, MO

Springfield, drunkest cities

Population: 167,319
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 17.5%
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Level: 25.7%
Divorce Rate: 13.5%
Mental Health: 15.7%
Physical Health: 14.9%
Unhappiness Score: 81.20

12
Newark, NJ

Newark, drunkest cities, longest commutes, best sports fans
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Population: 281,764
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 20.0%
Unemployment Rate: 9.2%
Poverty Level: 28.3%
Divorce Rate: 8.0%
Mental Health: 15.8%
Physical Health: 16.7%
Unhappiness Score: 84.00

11
Hialeah, FL

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Population: 236,387
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 14.7%
Unemployment Rate: 4.1%
Poverty Level: 25.9%
Divorce Rate: 12.9%
Mental Health: 13.0%
Physical Health: 17.0%
Unhappiness Score: 84.00

10
Buffalo, NY

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Population: 256,902
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 20.9%
Unemployment Rate: 5.2%
Poverty Level: 30.9%
Divorce Rate: 9.8%
Mental Health: 15.5%
Physical Health: 15.8%
Unhappiness Score: 85.50

9
San Bernardino, CA

San Bernardino California most dangerous cities

Population: 216,239
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 22.8%
Unemployment Rate: 7.3%
Poverty Level: 30.6%
Divorce Rate: 10.4%
Mental Health: 16.6%
Physical Health: 16.6%
Unhappiness Score: 88.90

8
Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati, drunkest cities, best singles scenes, sleepless cities, best drinking water, best sports fans

Population: 298,800
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 24.2%
Unemployment Rate: 6.8%
Poverty Level: 28.7%
Divorce Rate: 12.8%
Mental Health: 15.0%
Physical Health: 13.7%
Unhappiness Score: 92.00

And for more startling zip code stats, here are The 100 Drunkest Cities in America.

7
Toledo, OH

fattest cities, drunkest cities, best singles scenes, sleepless cities
Shutterstock

Population: 278,508
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 19.7%
Unemployment Rate: 6.7%
Poverty Level: 26.5%
Divorce Rate: 15.0%
Mental Health: 15.9%
Physical Health: 15.2%
Unhappiness Score: 93.80

6
Birmingham, AL

fattest cities, best singles scenes, sleepless cities
Shutterstock

Population: 212,157
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 18.5%
Unemployment Rate: 6.5%
Poverty Level: 28.1%
Divorce Rate: 14.1%
Mental Health: 15.2%
Physical Health: 16.3%
Unhappiness Score: 96.10

5
Jackson, MS

fattest cities

Population: 169,148
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 20.6%
Unemployment Rate: 7.7%
Poverty Level: 28.9%
Divorce Rate: 12.6%
Mental Health: 15.1%
Physical Health: 14.6%
Unhappiness Score: 97.30

4
Syracuse, NY

Syracuse, drunkest cities, best singles scenes

Population: 143,378
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 20.4%
Unemployment Rate: 5.9%
Poverty Level: 32.6%
Divorce Rate: 11.0%
Mental Health: 15.9%
Physical Health: 14.8%
Unhappiness Score: 97.40

3
Rochester, NY

Rochester, drunkest cities, best singles scenes, sleepless cities

Population: 208,880
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 17.4%
Unemployment Rate: 7.5%
Poverty Level: 33.1%
Divorce Rate: 11.2%
Mental Health: 16.4%
Physical Health: 15.5%
Unhappiness Score: 97.90

2
Detroit, MI

Shutterstock

Population: 672,795
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 13.7%
Unemployment Rate: 10.6%
Poverty Level: 37.9%
Divorce Rate: 11.3%
Mental Health: 18.0%
Physical Health: 19.3%
Unhappiness Score: 98.40

You might not want to drive here either because Detroit is one of  The 50 Worst Cities to Drive In.

1
Cleveland, OH

Cleveland, Ohio, drunkest cities, best singles scenes, best sports fans

Population: 385,809
Households Earning Annual Income Above $75K: 14.2%
Unemployment Rate: 9.4%
Poverty Level: 35.2%
Divorce Rate: 14.3%
Mental Health: 16.5%
Physical Health: 17.5%
Unhappiness Score: 99.00

Next, learn all about The 50 Most Tax-Friendly Cities in America.

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