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  • Writer's pictureBig Rick Stuart

Many of the nation’s ‘happiest’ cities are in California, study finds

Fremont is always on these lists. That's fine with me. I like Fremont. I never lived there but would go there often to visit friends.

Good weather. Good entertainment. Affordable housing. Access to nature. All of these factors can affect your quality of life.

While California is often criticized for the high cost of living (among other things) a new study finds the Golden State is also home to many of the “happiest” cities in the United States.

Personal finance website SmartAsset ranked 90 of the nation’s largest cities using a formula to determine “happiness,” including the number of residents who earn $100,000 or more, life expectancy, marriage rates, and traffic volume.

Californians spend second-highest percentage of income on rent, study says

Landing at the top of the list was Arlington, Virginia, which sits just outside of Washington, D.C.

Across the 11 “happiness metrics” SmartAsset reviewed, Arlington ranked within the top 10 of seven. Residents there have the longest life expectancy at 85.3 years and among the most space for physical activity. The city did, however, rank as one of the most congested when it came to traffic and recently was listed as one of the most expensive to live in for a family of four.

While Arlington claimed the top spot, California had three cities within the top 10. The highest ranking was the Bay Area city of Fremont, which ranked third overall. Also in the Bay Area, San Jose was ranked fourth and San Francisco was ranked ninth.

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