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Is New York really America's most miserable city?

You're familiar with the classic Gotham Grinch stereotype, of course: grouchy George Costanza, perennial harbinger of gloom Woody Allen (just check out his best and worst movies) and rock & roll Eeyore James Murphy, who told us we were stupid for voting his song "New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down" as one of the city's finest anthems. But the miserable New Yorker isn't just a fiction; a new report written by Harvard researchers and published by the National Bureau of Economic Reaseach has the stats to back it up. Just take a look at this infograph: Out of all the American cities with a population of over one million people, New York is officially the least happy.

Here we are, topping the list:

1. New York, NY
2. Pittsburgh, PA
3. Louisville, KY
4. Milwaukee, WI
5. Detroit, MI
6. Indianapolis, IN
7. St. Louis, MO
8. Las Vegas, NV
9. Buffalo, NY
10. Philadelphia, PA

And voila, America's most chipper:

1. Richmond-Petersburg, VA
2. Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, VA
3. Washington, DC
4. Raleigh-Durham, NC
5. Atlanta, GA
6. Houston, TX
7. Jacksonville, FL
8. Nashville, TN
9. West Palm Beach-Boca Raton, FL
10. Middlesex-Somerset-Hunterdon, NJ

But before you reach for that sadface emoji, know this: New York is the greatest city in the world, and we have 50 solid gold reasons to prove it. Sure, we may be a little neurotic (take our Neurotic New Yorker quiz if you dare) but we're also a city of romantics (find out what kind of New York lover you are!). And look at these stories of New York niceness if you wanna turn that frown upside-down. New York's attractions run from the sublime to the ridiculous: We have the most stunning skyline anywhere, and we're also home to the Coney Island hot dog eating contest. New York is playful, and New York is fun. Just look at the lip-smacking smorgasbord of festivals, markets and outdoor adventures on offer this summer in New York. Having considered all this data carefully, we can only consider that what the researchers meant to say was that New York is the coolest city in America. Wouldn't you agree?

 

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Comments

3 comments
Elaine B
Elaine B

I am a native New Yorker who has spent too many  recent years stuck in the Williamsburg, VA area - right between the claimed "chipper" areas of"  1. Richmond-Petersburg, VA and 2. Norfolk-Virginia Beach-Newport News, VA. I have been depressed as hell and can't wait to get out of here!

So, who was interviewed for the NYC decision?  Born/grew up there’s or failed came there's who had expected to become “stars”/millionaires”/sex-in-the-city girls?

When my feet hit the NYC pavement, I feel the pulse going up through me and joy comes alive No matter how happy I feel, I still don't smile at strangers or grin like a Miss America contestant throughout a conversation.  Down here I am depressed, and stuck, and HATE it.The native people smile and hoot and holler like they are filming an episode of “Hee Haw”, but don't mean it - they are hateful, nasty, bigots, racists and ready to stab you in the back.

I want my public transportation!  I want real bread!  I want real pizza!  I want people who are really kind and friendly - not people who proclaim how great it is to live where you don’t need to lock your door and that they could call their neighbor for help at 3 a.m. and the neighbor would come running to help – when, in reality, they disappear when you need a tissue.

I’ll be out of here soon – thank God.

Allison B
Allison B

You know who said NYC was unhappiest city? People who are jealous they don't live here. End of story. 

Dutch U
Dutch U

If the "Happiness" survey was about whether people were satisfied with their lives, well, of course not - New Yorkers are the most ambitious people and have the highest expectations.  NYC has more millionaires than any other US city, and I'm sure every one of them is still wanting more (and everyone else wants to join them).