Why College Towns Are Also the Happiest, Healthiest Towns

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The latest metro-level rankings on the Gallup Healthways Well-Being Index have Lancaster, Ann Arbor, and Charlottesville at the very top.

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College towns top the list on the latest metro-level rankings on the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Lancaster, Pennsylvania, takes the top spot, followed by Charlottesville, Virginia, Ann Arbor, Michigan, Provo-Orem, Utah, and Boulder, Colorado.

College towns have relatively high incomes and high levels of college grads and of creative, professional, and technical workers -- factors which are closely associated with happiness and well-being at the metro level, according to research I have conducted with Jason Rentfrow and Charlotta Mellander.

Among large metros, San Jose, Calif. (Silicon Valley), takes top spot, followed by Washington, D.C., and San Francisco. These metros also have very high incomes and high levels of college grads and creative, technical, and professional workers. The lowest levels of well-being are found in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jacksonville, Florida, Louisville, Kentucky, Detroit, Michigan, and New Orleans, Louisiana.

Read the full story at The Atlantic Cities.

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