How happy are we all today? Happier than we were yesterday, maybe, because the weekend beckons. But are those of us in SF or the East Bay less happy that the folks in Silicon Valley? A survey released earlier this month says we are way more bummed than San Jose residents...or, for that matter, people in Sarasota, Florida; Oxnard, CA; or El Paso.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index "ranks the 100 largest communities in the United States by their comparative well-being" which, for the sake of simple clarity, I boiled down to as "happiness" in this piece's headline and lead.

But it's actually a lot more complicated. From Gallup:

These community-level data are based on more than 176,000 interviews with U.S. adults across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, conducted from January through December 2014. All reported communities are metropolitan statistical areas as defined by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. The Well-Being Index is calculated on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 represents the lowest possible well-being and 100 represents the highest possible well-being. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index score for the nation and for each community comprises metrics affecting overall well-being and each of the five essential elements of well-being:

Purpose: liking what you do each day and being motivated to achieve your goals
Social: having supportive relationships and love in your life
Financial: managing your economic life to reduce stress and increase security
Community: liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community
Physical: having good health and enough energy to get things done daily

So, yeah, it's a happiness ranking — but it's a lot more than that. The report is really fascinating! I've uploaded it here so you can read it too, and see how each area scored on each of those five elements. Here are America's top 20 communities, ranked by the criteria above:

1. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton
2. Urban Honolulu
3. Raleigh
4. Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura
5. El Paso
6. Austin-Round Rock
7. Provo-Orem
8. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara
9. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria
10. Winston-Salem
11. Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim
12. San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward
13. Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land
14. Chattanooga
15. Spokane-Spokane Valley
16. San Diego-Carlsbad
17. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington
18. Omaha-Council Bluffs
19. Cape Coral-Fort Myers
20. San Antonio-New Braunfels

While LA spanked SF and Oakland in the well-being race, we can comfort ourselves in the knowledge that we creamed New York (#55), Seattle (#62), and Portland (#63). Remember those numbers the next time someone snootily tells you that they've "outgrown" SF and are moving to one of those places! (On second thought, don't! Let them go, we can use their apartments.)

At the bottom of the list is Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pennsylvania, which also has the worst "purpose" and "social well-being" scores. Other bottom of the list dwellers: Toledo, Ohio; Knoxville, Tennessee; Dayton, Ohio; and Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, Indiana.