Thursday, September 5, 2013
People in DFW are happier than any other major city’s residents
As we know, there's plenty to be happy about.
Recent signs say life in Dallas-Fort Worth is positively blissful: We lead the nation in job growth (possibly because we are among the hardest working), we're home to one of the top 12 arts districts in the country, and now a new survey says North Texas residents are the happiest among major metropolitan markets.
New York-based research firm Harris Interactive released the findings of its “Happiness Index” poll Wednesday, which classified 38 percent of residents in DFW as “very happy,” the highest percentage in the country and above the national average of 33 percent. (It’s worth noting Harris did a similar survey in May that found 33 percent of all Americans were very happy, based on social and economic factors.)
The company surveyed more than 2,000 Americans over the age of 18 from July 24-30. It based the Happiness Index on the percentage of people who "strongly" or "somewhat" agreed with positive statements on the survey.
So why are North Texans so upbeat? For one, their social lives: Ninety percent of respondents claimed their friends bring them happiness. (And we do dine out more often than any other major city. We know you're not brunching alone -- so good thing 90 percent have buddies to bring along.) The study also found 75 percent of residents here have spiritual beliefs that provide a "positive guiding force" -- that's 8 percent higher than the national average.
Overall, 80 percent of North Texas said they are happy with their life right now, while 77 percent said they are optimistic about the future. Those numbers hold steady with the national average, although more residents in Houston, Atlanta, New York City, Boston, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia claimed to be happy "at this time."
Perhaps we in North Texas are dreamers: Of the previous six cities, only Houston, Boston and Atlanta are more optimistic about the future than we are. The majority of DFW respondents (59 percent) also rarely worry about their health, the study found. I mean, who has time to fret when we’ve got oversized meals and eating challenges to worry about instead?
But residents of North Texans also have some reservations. About 63 percent of local survey respondents said they frequently worry about their finances, making us the third highest percentage behind residents in Chicago and New York City. Residents here also led the nation in dissatisfaction over not being able to engage in hobbies or beloved pastimes, at 34 percent.
On the whole, however, Harris Interactive found Dallas/Fort Worth to be the happiest place in America. (Take that Disney World.)
To see the Harris Interactive poll in its entirety or the company's methodology, click here.