National Geographic says these New England locales are among the happiest in America

Barnstable, MA - 6/22/2017 - Main street in downtown /Hyannis.  Location, Location, Location photos of Barnstable.  -  (Barry Chin/Globe Staff), Section:  Business, Reporter:  Correspondent, Topic:  070217Location, LOID:  8.3.2867785407.
Main street in downtown Hyannis. –Barry Chin / The Boston Globe

Where do the happiest Americans live?

Many of them are right here in New England, according to a ranking of the 25 happiest cities in America by National Geographic.

The happiest New Englanders are in the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area of Connecticut, which ranked No. 8. After that, Barnstable came in at No. 9, New Hampshire’s Manchester-Nashua area at No. 19, and Portland, Maine, at No. 24.

The happiest city in the land is Boulder, Colorado, which ranked No. 1.

The magazine teamed up with bestselling author Dan Buettner and Gallup to conduct the study. The team conducted interviews with nearly 250,000 adults in 190 metro areas between 2014 and 2015, asking more than a dozen questions designed to measure happiness. The questions covered topics such as healthy eating, feeling secure, making time for vacations, civic engagement, financial security, and the opportunity to learn something new every day.


“In happier places, according to Buettner, locals smile and laugh more often, socialize several hours a day, have access to green spaces, and feel that they are making purposeful progress toward achieving life goals,” the publication wrote.

In the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk area, located 40 miles from New York City, folks have many cultural opportunities and an easy work commute, thanks to the large concentration of corporations in the area, National Geographic wrote.

Cape Cod’s Barnstable was chosen for its “seven idyllic villages” such as Hyannis; the Manchester-Nashua area of New Hampshire for its convenient proximity to Boston, the Atlantic Coast, and the White Mountains (it’s just one hour from all three); and Portland, Maine, for its “walkability, access to nature, and civic engagement,” according to the publication.

See the full list of America’s 25 happiest cities.