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

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


By Alex Daniel, Travel

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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