Thursday, September 5, 2013

Atlanta Ranked no. 4 "Happiest" City Among America's Top 10 Markets

A recent Harris Poll showed that 33% of Americans are very happy, and explored the many factors which may play into Americans' happiness, including age, gender and race/ethnicity. Now, findings using Harris Interactive's new Harris Poll® Major Market Query (MMQ) survey confirm that location (…, location, location, as real estate agents have been saying for years) can also have a strong relationship with overall happiness.According to the survey :

  • Atlanta residents are among those most likely to agree that they are optimistic about the future (81%) and that their spiritual beliefs are a positive guiding force to them (77%), as well as being among the least likely to feel their voices are not heard in national decisions that affect them (67%).
  • On the down side, those in Atlanta are among the least likely to agree that their relationships with friends bring them happiness (though at 84%, a vast majority still agree with this) and the most likely by far to agree that they frequently worry about their financial situation (71%). 
The study also revealed that minorities show particularly pronounced declines in happiness in the two years since the Happiness Index was last measured, with especially low happiness levels observed among the Hispanic American population; while it is important to note that a causal link cannot be established, it may not be a coincidence that this drop coincides with a political landscape that has seen frequent, sometimes contentious, discussion of immigration policy in recent months. Other findings include:
  • African-Americans appear to be less happy than in 2011, with 36% qualifying as very happy - down from 44% in 2011. However, though happiness is down among them, they remain roughly as happy as whites (34%); in contrast, fewer than three in ten Hispanic Americans (28%) are very happy. This represents not only a decline from 2011 (35%) but also a significantly lower percentage than seen among either whites or African-Americans.
  • Among Americans with disabilities, the percentage of those very happy has dropped from 34% to 31%- another decline which may have ties to cuts or feared cuts in services as a result of the sequester.

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