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

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

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

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

30
Grand Rapids, MI

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.

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

29
Winston–Salem, NC

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

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

28
Columbus, GA

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.

fattest cities, drunkest cities, best singles scenes, longest commutes, commute, rent, property, best job opportunities, sleepless cities, best drinking water, best sports fans

27
Philadelphia, PA

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

Laredo, worst singles scenes, best job opportunities

26
Laredo, TX

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.

most sleepless cities

25
Richmond, VA

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

kansas city, missouri

24
Kansas City, KS

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

St. Louis Arch Tourist Traps That Locals Hate

23
St. Louis, MO

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

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

22
Brownsville, TX

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

Memphis Tennessee American Cities Vacation Destinations

21
Memphis, TN

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.

new orleans french quarter

20
New Orleans, LA

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

Milwaukee

19
Milwaukee, WI

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

fresno california sleepless cities, worst drinking water

18
Fresno, CA

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

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

17
Knoxville, TN

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.

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

16
Tucson, AZ

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

miami beach florida

15
Miami, FL

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

akron Ohio, sleepless cities

14
Akron, OH

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

Springfield, drunkest cities

13
Springfield, MO

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

Newark, drunkest cities, longest commutes, best sports fans

12
Newark, NJ

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

Hialeah, Florida, Miami, worst singles scenes

11
Hialeah, FL

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

Buffalo New York American Cities Vacation Destinations

10
Buffalo, NY

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

San Bernardino California most dangerous cities

9
San Bernardino, CA

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

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

8
Cincinnati, OH

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.

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

7
Toledo, OH

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

fattest cities, best singles scenes, sleepless cities

6
Birmingham, AL

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

fattest cities

5
Jackson, MS

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

Syracuse, drunkest cities, best singles scenes

4
Syracuse, NY

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

Rochester, drunkest cities, best singles scenes, sleepless cities

3
Rochester, NY

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

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.

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

1
Cleveland, OH

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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