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Happiest US Cities of 2012: The List

A survey called the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index reveals which metropolitan regions in the United States are happiest by measuring factors of well-being such as residents' health, job satisfaction, and access to basic necessities.

You can read more about the well-being survey and what it means, but here are 2012's top 25 and bottom 25 cities and their average well-being scores (out of a possible 100 points):

The top 25 cities:

  1. Lincoln, Neb.: 72.8
  2. Boulder, Colo.: 72.7
  3. Burlington-South Burlington, Vt.: 72.4
  4. Provo-Orem, Utah: 71.7
  5. Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo.: 71.6
  6. Barnstable Town, Mass.: 71.5
  7. Honolulu, Hawaii: 71.5
  8. Ann Arbor, Mich.: 71.4
  9. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, (D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.V.): 71.3
  10. San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, Calif.: 71.2
  11. Charlottesville, Va.: 71.1
  12. San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif.: 71.0
  13. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.: 70.8
  14. Denver-Aurora, Colo.: 70.4
  15. Madison, Wis.: 70.4
  16. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minn.-Wis.: 70.3
  17. Bellingham, Wash.: 70.2
  18. Raleigh-Cary, N.C.: 70.0
  19. Bremerton-Silverdale, Wash.: 70.0
  20. Naples-Marco Island, Fla.: 69.9
  21. Des Moines-West De Moines, Iowa: 69.9
  22. Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine: 69.8
  23. Lancaster, Penn.: 69.6
  24. Cedar Rapids, Iowa: 69.6
  25. Salt Lake City, Utah: 69.5

The bottom 25 cities:

  1. Charleston, W.Va.: 60.8
  2. Huntington-Ashland, W.Va.-Ky.-Ohio: 61.2
  3. Mobile, Ala.: 62.4
  4. Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas: 62.5
  5. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton, N.C.: 62.7
  6. Fort Smith, Ark.-Okla.: 62.9
  7. Bakersfield, Calif.: 63.1
  8. Rockford, Ill.: 63.1
  9. Spartanburg, S.C.: 63.4
  10. Utica-Rome, N.Y.: 63.4
  11. Binghamton, N.Y.: 63.5
  12. Corpus Christi, Texas: 63.5
  13. Chattanooga, Tenn.-Ga.: 63.5
  14. McAllen-Edinburgh-Mission, Texas: 63.7
  15. Redding, Calif.: 63.7
  16. Yakima, Wash.: 63.8
  17. Topeka, Kan.: 63.8
  18. Pensacola-Ferry Pass-Brent, Fla.: 64.0
  19. Dayton, Ohio: 64.0
  20. Shreveport-Bossier City, La.: 64.2
  21. Hagerstown-Martinsburg, Md.-W.Va.: 64.3
  22. Scranton-Wilkes-Barre, Penn.: 64.4
  23. Stockton, Calif.: 64.5
  24. Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Penn.: 64.5
  25. Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla.: 64.6

The survey included 189 metro areas. If you don't see your hometown on this list, you can search for it in Gallup's breakdown.

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Live Science Staff
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