Maybe it’s the sunshine and salt air?

By Marisa Spyker
March 18, 2019
JillGehring/Getty Images

It might make sense that a place where most people go to vacation would evoke feelings of happiness. But what happens if you live where everyone else vacations? Do the effects Vitamin Sea fade over time? All signs point to no, including this one: According to personal finance website Wallethub, which just ranked America’s happiest cities, the top four destinations in the U.S. where people experience the lowest rates of depression happen to all hail from South Florida.

Miami, Hialeah, Fort Lauderdale, and Pembroke Pines—all either directly on or within striking distance of the sparkling Atlantic—all tied for first in the site’s ranking of U.S. cities with the lowest depression rates.

The metric, while significant, was just one of 31 analyzed by Wallethub to determine the country’s happiest places. Other key indicators measured included everything from divorce rates and average hours of sleep residents get to the amount of time people spend at work.

Related: These Are the Happiest Seaside Towns of 2018: 

Surprisingly, while South Florida leads the country with the least depressed population, it paled in comparison to other cities in other categories. In the overall rankings, Pembroke Pines and Cape Coral were the only Florida cities to make it into the top 30. (Both places lost serious points in the Income and Employment category, which measures income growth and job security as well as average work hours and commute times.)

When you take into account all metrics, it seems West Coasters have the upper hand. Of the overall top 10 happiest places, half are in California, including Irvine, Huntington Beach, and San Francisco, which experienced the highest income growth compared to anywhere else in 2018. Irvine and Fremont also did exceptionally well in the Community & Environment category, which measures strength of social ties and community pride in addition to the idealness of the weather.

So, if happiness is what you’re after in life, rest assured: There’s a place for you from coast to coast. See the full list of the top 10 happiest cities in the country below:

1. Plano, Texas
2. Irvine, California
3. Madison, Wisconsin
4. Fremont, California
5. Huntington Beach, California
6. Fargo, North Dakota
7. Grand Prairie, Texas
8. San Jose, California
9. Scottsdale, Arizona
10. San Francisco, California