Two OC cities rank among happiest towns in USA

For those who live in Orange County, CA as I do, I was happy to see that according to a survey conducted by the  Vermont Complex Systems Center at thecropped-familyeatingphoto1.jpg

University of Vermont, two nearby cities ranked in the top five happiest American destintions in the nation. But before I reveal what those cities are (don’t peek), let me tell you how they determined which cities made the list.

University researchers looked at the geo-tagged Twitter messages of people who lived in 373 urban cities—about 10 million messages to be exact. They analyzed these messages and gave scores to 80 million words in the tweets and were looking for those that pertained to levels of happiness. They focused on how often people used positive and negative words in their tweets. Words like wine, food, cheers, gift and beach were considered positive while words like boo, ugh and hate were more prominent in the unhappier locales.

Okay, did I give it away when I said wine? Yes, wine country Napa, CA ranked number one as the happiest town in America based on this research study. But coming in fourth place on the list was a tie between Mission Viejo and San Clemente—two in my own backyard! Idaho Falls ranked second and Longmont, Colorado third and fifth was Simi Valley, CA.

The researchers decided to look only at the actual words themselves and not the words in context to come up with their results. They also did not separate tourists from residents, again focusing only on the actual words used in the tweets. Since only a portion of Americans use Twitter—this is only a slice of the research pie. However, it gives a look into what cities people are in when they have the happiest tweets. What American city do you either live in or visit that makes you feel the happiest?


Published by

Cher Vierra Knebel

Cher Knebel is a professional writer, blogger and founder of Living Happily blog and website dedicated to sharing stories, happiness research and resources that focus on the positive impact of having close personal relationships and social connections. Join her community of happiness seekers and friendship promoters by visiting her website at

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