Worcester is Not That Happy

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
GoLocalWorcester News Team

The City of Worcester is not that happy.

According to a recent study completed by WalletHub, Worcester is ranked as the 142nd happiest city in the U.S. out of 182 ranked cities.

“Location plays a hand in how bright or gloomy our days are. 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. However, money can only make you so happy – people who make $75,000 a year won’t get any higher satisfaction from more money,” said WalletHub.

Worcester’s Rankings

  • 125th Best- Emotional & Physical Well-being
  • 149th Best - Income & Employment
  • 159th Best - Community & Environment


The Rankings

Worcester is ranked behind Chattanooga, Tennessee and Wichita, Kansas, who rank 140th and 141st respectively. 

Worcester is ranked ahead of Rochester, New York, and San Bernardino, California, who rank 143rd and 144th respectively.

Plano, Texas is ranked as the happiest city in the U.S., while Detroit, Michigan is ranked as the most unhappy.

See the full rankings in the map below

Source: WalletHub


The Method

In order to determine the happiest cities in America, WalletHub compared 182 of the largest cities — including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state — across three key dimensions: 1) Emotional & Physical Well-Being, 2) Income & Employment and 3) Community & Environment.

They evaluated these categories using 31 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale.

WalletHub then determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.


Emotional & Physical Well-Being - Total Points: 50

  • Life-Satisfaction Index: Full Weight (~3.39 Points)
  • Emotional-Health Index: Full Weight (~3.39 Points)
  • Depression Rate: Double Weight (~6.78 Points)
  • Suicide Rate: Full Weight (~3.39 Points)
  • Adequate-Sleep Rate: Double Weight (~6.78 Points)
  • Physical-Health Index: Full Weight (~3.39 Points)
  • Sports-Participation Rate: Double Weight (~6.78 Points)
  • Share of People Aged 12 or Older Who Used Marijuana in the Past Month: Half Weight (~1.69 Points)
  • Retail Opioid Prescriptions Dispensed per 100 Persons: Quarter Weight (~0.85 Points)
  • Illness & Disability Index: Double Weight (~6.78 Points)
  • Life Expectancy: Full Weight (~3.39 Points)
  • Food-Insecurity Rate: Full Weight (~3.39 Points)


Income & Employment - Total Points: 25

  • Income-Growth Rate: Double Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Share of Households Earning Annual Incomes Above $75,000: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Poverty Rate: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Job Satisfaction: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • 4+ Star Job Opportunities per Total People in the Labor Force: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Job Security: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Unemployment Rate: Double Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Underemployment Rate: Double Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Bankruptcy Rate: Double Weight (~3.33 Points)
  • Weekly Work Hours: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)
  • Commute Time: Full Weight (~1.67 Points)


Community & Environment - Total Points: 25

  • Strength of Social Ties: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • WalletHub’s Most Caring Cities Ranking: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • Separation & Divorce Rate: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • Hate-Crime Incidents per Capita: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • Ideal Weather: Half Weight (~1.79 Points)
  • Acres of Parkland per 1,000 Residents: Half Weight (~1.79 Points)
  • Average Leisure Time Spent per Day*: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • Well-Being “Community” Rank: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)


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