A key to happiness is... where you live?

Cannot_Wait_4Disney

Ok all you A cattle, get in ...
Joined
May 18, 2005
You sound very unhappy there. It's probably good you're leaving.
She's not the only one given how the area finished.

Granted I haven't been to most of the places on the list, I think there may be a lot of truth to it in regards to atmosphere. I definitely felt a different vibe between #15 vs #151.

I guess non-Chicago, IL is so miserable it doesn't even make the list. I know there aren't many cities, but I would have thought Peoria would have been mentioned, probably not as a happy place though.
They only took the top 150 cities in the U.S. or the top 2 cities in the state in population. Peoria was neither. Although because it is the 2nd most populated metro area in Illinois I think it would have been informative to include it. Mid and downstate are completely out of the survey.
I know Peoria quite well. It has issues but it also has things going for it.
It has a rush hour where you can actually rush. The Bradley University area has quite the eclectic mix of restaurants. And they always have concerts and recitals going on.
Being a smaller city, it doesn't have much in the way of night life. But Chicago is 3 hours away.
Some of the other mid state and downstate towns are in terrible shape, however. In some of them, you'll find more cheer in a grave yard.
 
  • cats mom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2000
    WooHoo! Number 2!

    We ARE very happy here. I tell everyone who will listen how amazing my city is. I have spent 10 years living here so far and can vouch 100% that it is a really, really REALLY great place to live. I very firmly believe that where you live is directly correlated to happiness and life satisfaction. When we lived in northern VA, for 4 years recently, we were miserable the whole time. Our life circumstances were the same. We came back and have been happier ever since.

    I can't put my finger on what, exactly, it is that makes us so happy here. A lot of it has to do with having a well funded city government that spends wisely and has residents at the forefront of its spending priorities. Our city has been named ths most fiscally responsible in the nation. We are also the safest large city in the nation, several years running. We have more than 280 public parks and green spaces. There is a focus on quality healthcare (also #2 in the nation on that). It's multicultural and people are generally respectful of everyone. There are hundreds and hundreds of restaurants, of any cuisine you could ask for. The school district is phenomenal. Jobs are plentiful, with over 30,000 companies headquartered here. The location between the sea and mountains is beautiful and provides numerous recreational opportunities. I can look out my window and see mountains, and then be at the beach in 15 minutes. Disneyland is 15 minutes away (talk about happiness!). We are halfway between L.A. and San Diego, so we can easily travel to either. There is a major airport right at the edge of our city. Everything you need is right here.

    We have a motto here. "Far from nothing. Close to perfect." Pretty much sums it up.

    ETA: It IS expensive to live here. Not gonna sugar coat that. Our take home pay is around $130K per year, and we feel very middle class because we can't ever even dream of being able to buy a home at the prices here. But, we are happy renters! We can afford to stay here and we will, because we love living here so much.

    I'm glad to see you edited to add the bit about COL. I love Irvine, most of south county as a matter of fact. I have to wonder how happy a family making the Irvine median household income of ~ $97,000 (or anything below that) really is there though. Not that money is everything, but it can be pretty tough to enjoy all the positive things considered in the study if you're struggling just to make ends meet.

    Of course Irvine isn't the only high COL city on the list, but it is among several that really jumped out at me for that reason.
     

    tarheelmjfan

    Proud Redhead
    Joined
    May 10, 2001
    She's not the only one given how the area finished.



    They only took the top 150 cities in the U.S. or the top 2 cities in the state in population. Peoria was neither. Although because it is the 2nd most populated metro area in Illinois I think it would have been informative to include it. Mid and downstate are completely out of the survey.
    I know Peoria quite well. It has issues but it also has things going for it.
    It has a rush hour where you can actually rush. The Bradley University area has quite the eclectic mix of restaurants. And they always have concerts and recitals going on.
    Being a smaller city, it doesn't have much in the way of night life. But Chicago is 3 hours away.
    Some of the other mid state and downstate towns are in terrible shape, however. In some of them, you'll find more cheer in a grave yard.
    Once again, I live very near one of the "cities" in that article. If it's a city, towns no longer exist. Everyplace that isn't rural would have to be a city. I don't know what criteria they used for choosing their locations, but being an actual city wasn't one of them.
     

    Happyinwonerland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2014
    Wow, that is a lot of generalizations about the people in Kentucky. I also live in KY and can’t imagine living anywhere else. Everyone in my life seems generally happy and content. I’ve never heard anyone say water makes them sick. I do t personally know anyone addicted to drugs or in a treatment program. I’ve never once had to call the police because someone was chasing me or beating in my car. Currently I live in Louisville, but spent the first 29 years of my life just outside Lexington.
    You are very lucky, or those in your life who are addicts have hidden it very well (probably the 2nd option-particulary in Lousiville and Lexington). Due to the nature of my work, I see the true scope of the drug problem and how it reaches far into society here. It is awful


    As far as generalizations, all one has to do is look at statistics.Just because your situation personally isn't bad doesn't change the fact that we live in one of the poorest, most drug addicted, unhealthiest, cancer ridden, low education ranked states. And all of those certainly do contribute to a lower overall sense of happiness and well being. If you haven't lived elsewhere, or many other places outside of here, it can be easy to think the whole country is like this, but it isn't.

    https://www.thetimestribune.com/news/local_news/kentucky-ranks-rd-worst-for-youth-obesity/article_d4408970-b7ba-5b50-90a0-b3cd358e2e89.html

    https://uknow.uky.edu/blogs/president-capilouto-s-blog/kentucky-can-stem-tide-opioid-abuse-and-addiction

    https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/slideshows/states-with-the-highest-poverty-rates-in-the-us?slide=7

    https://www.wdrb.com/news/study-kentucky-ranked-as-th-least-educated-state/article_876ec7a0-1d80-11e9-8e42-4f03f440ee88.html
     
  • Kathryn Merteuil

    Barden Bella
    Joined
    May 11, 2012
    She's not the only one given how the area finished.



    They only took the top 150 cities in the U.S. or the top 2 cities in the state in population. Peoria was neither. Although because it is the 2nd most populated metro area in Illinois I think it would have been informative to include it. Mid and downstate are completely out of the survey.
    I know Peoria quite well. It has issues but it also has things going for it.
    It has a rush hour where you can actually rush. The Bradley University area has quite the eclectic mix of restaurants. And they always have concerts and recitals going on.
    Being a smaller city, it doesn't have much in the way of night life. But Chicago is 3 hours away.
    Some of the other mid state and downstate towns are in terrible shape, however. In some of them, you'll find more cheer in a grave yard.
    I lived in central IL for a long time, I know you got that right. Decatur is a perfect example! The further south you go, it can get even more depressing. Many (if not most) parts of southern IL are just depressing, but Cairo is a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Those areas are so small of course they would not be listed in the article.

    I am not completely hating on Illinois, there are some hidden gems,
     

    neverlandsky

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Sep 7, 2017
    Ours didn’t even make the list. Explains a lot and why we’re saving to go back to our hometown in the 150s.
     

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    I'm glad to see you edited to add the bit about COL. I love Irvine, most of south county as a matter of fact. I have to wonder how happy a family making the Irvine median household income of ~ $97,000 (or anything below that) really is there though. Not that money is everything, but it can be pretty tough to enjoy all the positive things considered in the study if you're struggling just to make ends meet.

    Of course Irvine isn't the only high COL city on the list, but it is among several that really jumped out at me for that reason.
    For 8 of the 10 years we have lived here, our income was at or below the median. Only recently are we up above it, due to a major promotion. For most of it, we took home anywhere between 70 and 90K per year. Of course, our rent back then was also 2/3 of what it is now. We lived here from 2004-2011 and since 2015. We have always had DL annual passes, but mostly everything else has been free. All the recreational opportunities amd parks are free. Public school and the related special education services our kids receive are free. We are a one income military family. Our health care has always been free or very low cost. We drive older Hondas that we paid off early on. We have always been comfortable here, financially, and able to fully enjoy living here no matter our income. When my boys were little, we would spend all day at various parks. I would load them in the double jogger and make good use of our extensive bike trails and we would have so much fun running along the train tracks, watching the Coaster and Amtraks go by (my boys loved trains). We would eat lunch at the park, because they all have nice shaded picnic tables and clean public bathrooms so we could be there for hours. I would take them to Disneyland several times a week for a few hours (they were free until they turned 3 and I took advantage of that). The beach was also a place we went often. Just the small parking cost was all that set me back. We also have always had access to beautiful, huge community pools that are heated year round. I had my kids in the water from 6 months and they are both little fish. So yes, plenty of ways to enjoy all the city has to offer without spending much money at all. Plus, the safety factor is such a huge contributor to being happy and stress free. My husband spends a lot of time away from home (deployments, training, field exercises, etc). I never worried about being home alone while he was gone. I never worry when I go out for a run or walk alone. I don't live in fear of being a victim of a violent crime, and don't feel compelled to own a gun or have a security system. That peace of mind is priceless, IMO.
     

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    Once again, I live very near one of the "cities" in that article. If it's a city, towns no longer exist. Everyplace that isn't rural would have to be a city. I don't know what criteria they used for choosing their locations, but being an actual city wasn't one of them.
    "City" is a designation based on a minimum population number, typically over 100,000.
     
  • cats mom

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Oct 25, 2000
    For 8 of the 10 years we have lived here, our income was at or below the median. Only recently are we up above it, due to a major promotion. For most of it, we took home anywhere between 70 and 90K per year. Of course, our rent back then was also 2/3 of what it is now. We lived here from 2004-2011 and since 2015. We have always had DL annual passes, but mostly everything else has been free. All the recreational opportunities amd parks are free. Public school and the related special education services our kids receive are free. We are a one income military family. Our health care has always been free or very low cost. We drive older Hondas that we paid off early on. We have always been comfortable here, financially, and able to fully enjoy living here no matter our income. When my boys were little, we would spend all day at various parks. I would load them in the double jogger and make good use of our extensive bike trails and we would have so much fun running along the train tracks, watching the Coaster and Amtraks go by (my boys loved trains). We would eat lunch at the park, because they all have nice shaded picnic tables and clean public bathrooms so we could be there for hours. I would take them to Disneyland several times a week for a few hours (they were free until they turned 3 and I took advantage of that). The beach was also a place we went often. Just the small parking cost was all that set me back. We also have always had access to beautiful, huge community pools that are heated year round. I had my kids in the water from 6 months and they are both little fish. So yes, plenty of ways to enjoy all the city has to offer without spending much money at all. Plus, the safety factor is such a huge contributor to being happy and stress free. My husband spends a lot of time away from home (deployments, training, field exercises, etc). I never worried about being home alone while he was gone. I never worry when I go out for a run or walk alone. I don't live in fear of being a victim of a violent crime, and don't feel compelled to own a gun or have a security system. That peace of mind is priceless, IMO.
    Like I said, I love the area too. We lived there for almost 15 years but made the decision to relocate because we wanted to build our savings. Given that goal we couldn't say no when the company offered to move us to an area with lower COL and give us higher pay. Housing alone was killing us in So Cal (163% more expensive in OC than in our current location, and that's the number for OC as a whole, like you we lived in a more expensive So County city). Plus higher costs for everything (transportation, food, entertainment, healthcare, taxes). I definitely miss being able to pop up to Disney or over to the beach any time I want. Plenty of opportunities to enjoy the other stuff you mentioned in most states/cities as long as you search out the right areas though.

    I'm glad Irvine works well for your family and you're happy there. I really am.
    I was just throwing out the COL thing because I know A LOT of people struggle financially there, even with a solid income.

    BTW, did you see Santa Ana at #57?
    Have to say I was surprised by that one. I know there are some nice pockets, but it wouldn't make my list of happy places to live, and that's where DH's office was.
     

    DLgal

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 12, 2013
    Like I said, I love the area too. We lived there for almost 15 years but made the decision to relocate because we wanted to build our savings. Given that goal we couldn't say no when the company offered to move us to an area with lower COL and give us higher pay. Housing alone was killing us in So Cal (163% more expensive in OC than in our current location, and that's the number for OC as a whole, like you we lived in a more expensive So County city). Plus higher costs for everything (transportation, food, entertainment, healthcare, taxes). I definitely miss being able to pop up to Disney or over to the beach any time I want. Plenty of opportunities to enjoy the other stuff you mentioned in most states/cities as long as you search out the right areas though.

    I'm glad Irvine works well for your family and you're happy there. I really am.
    I was just throwing out the COL thing because I know A LOT of people struggle financially there, even with a solid income.

    BTW, did you see Santa Ana at #57?
    Have to say I was surprised by that one. I know there are some nice pockets, but it wouldn't make my list of happy places to live, and that's where DH's office was.
    I didn't see Santa Ana, but it has gotten very nice over the last few years. I wouldn't live there with school aged kids, but I wouldn't write it off entirely. It's pretty nice in many places.

    The housing situation everywhere in CA is out of control. I really hope something changes with that in the future. They need to build way more housing to make it less of a supply/demand issue.
     

    Cannot_Wait_4Disney

    Ok all you A cattle, get in ...
    Joined
    May 18, 2005
    I lived in central IL for a long time, I know you got that right. Decatur is a perfect example! The further south you go, it can get even more depressing. Many (if not most) parts of southern IL are just depressing, but Cairo is a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Those areas are so small of course they would not be listed in the article.
    I am not completely hating on Illinois, there are some hidden gems,
    Uh oh. Did the rapture happen and I'm still stuck here? No. You're just in beautiful downtown Cairo.






    I wouldn't be surprised if population is under 1,000 by the next census.
     

    DisneyHardin

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2010
    "City" is a designation based on a minimum population number, typically over 100,000.
    The minimum population isn't nearly that high. I used to live in a city that only had about 15,000 people, but was labeled "City."
     

    DisneyHardin

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jan 20, 2010
    You are very lucky, or those in your life who are addicts have hidden it very well (probably the 2nd option-particulary in Lousiville and Lexington). Due to the nature of my work, I see the true scope of the drug problem and how it reaches far into society here. It is awful


    As far as generalizations, all one has to do is look at statistics.Just because your situation personally isn't bad doesn't change the fact that we live in one of the poorest, most drug addicted, unhealthiest, cancer ridden, low education ranked states. And all of those certainly do contribute to a lower overall sense of happiness and well being. If you haven't lived elsewhere, or many other places outside of here, it can be easy to think the whole country is like this, but it isn't.
    l
    I guess it just all depends on what type of people you choose to surround yourself with. I realize that there is a big drug problem in Kentucky, just like many other parts of the United States, I just choose to be around people that don't use drugs.

    My husband is a Sheriff's Deputy here in Jefferson County who serves and executes evictions - he sees the the crummier sides of the city.

    I guess I am just a glass half full sort of person who chooses to help create my own happiness and not just rely on my environment for it.

    I hope Florida is your dream state and you can find the happiness living there that you were unable to find in Kentucky.
     

    Happyinwonerland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2014
    I guess it just all depends on what type of people you choose to surround yourself with. I realize that there is a big drug problem in Kentucky, just like many other parts of the United States, I just choose to be around people that don't use drugs.

    My husband is a Sheriff's Deputy here in Jefferson County who serves and executes evictions - he sees the the crummier sides of the city.

    I guess I am just a glass half full sort of person who chooses to help create my own happiness and not just rely on my environment for it.

    I hope Florida is your dream state and you can find the happiness living there that you were unable to find in Kentucky.
    You'd be surprised at the teachers, lawyers, pastors, police officers, daycare workers , stay home moms, etc that test positive on a drug screen. I can guarantee that it is closer to your front door than you care to acknowledge.

    And thank you, yes, I plan to be very happy in sunny Florida where I will never have to de-ice my car or pray the roads aren't too slick to get to work.
     

    Colleen27

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Mar 31, 2007
    You'd be surprised at the teachers, lawyers, pastors, police officers, daycare workers , stay home moms, etc that test positive on a drug screen. I can guarantee that it is closer to your front door than you care to acknowledge.
    Do you imagine that is any less true elsewhere, though? The opioid epidemic, with its origins in prescribing patterns, has created a whole class of "normal", middle class addicts. And pot is just as common as booze and nearly as socially acceptable in many circles, even in places where it isn't yet legal.

    "City" is a designation based on a minimum population number, typically over 100,000.
    So that's kind of an interesting thing... linguistically, you're right. But legally, city is a designation that has to do with how the community was chartered and is organized and has nothing to do with size. So it all depends on which definition the source is using.
     

    Happyinwonerland

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 1, 2014
    Do you imagine that is any less true elsewhere, though? The opioid epidemic, with its origins in prescribing patterns, has created a whole class of "normal", middle class addicts. And pot is just as common as booze and nearly as socially acceptable in many circles, even in places where it isn't yet legal.



    So that's kind of an interesting thing... linguistically, you're right. But legally, city is a designation that has to do with how the community was chartered and is organized and has nothing to do with size. So it all depends on which definition the source is using.
    No, I just meant to point out to the previous poster that her circle is likely touched by drug abuse in ways she apparently isn't aware of.
     

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