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Photos: Ten happiest American cities -- and the two Colorado places on the list

Boulder frequently tops the annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index -- popularly known as the happiest cities list.

Not this year -- although Boulder and one other prominent Colorado community place high in the rankings.

Continue to count down the photo-illustrated top ten, complete with blurbs from each city's Wiki page and the complete report.

Number 10: Lincoln, Nebraska

Photos: Ten happiest American cities -- and the two Colorado places on the list
Lincoln was founded in 1856 as the village of Lancaster, and became the county seat of the newly created Lancaster County in 1859. The capital of Nebraska Territory had been Omaha since the creation of the territory in 1854; however, most of the territory's population lived south of the Platte River. After much of the territory south of the Platte considered annexation to Kansas, the legislature voted to move the capital south of the river and as far west as possible. The village of Lancaster was chosen, in part due to the salt flats and marshes.

Number 9: San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, California

Photos: Ten happiest American cities -- and the two Colorado places on the list
San Francisco is a popular tourist destination, known for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture, and landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, the former prison on Alcatraz Island, and its Chinatown district. It is also a primary banking and finance center.

Continue to keep counting down the ten happiest American cities -- and the two Colorado places on the list.

 

Number 8: San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, California

Photos: Ten happiest American cities -- and the two Colorado places on the list
Founded in 1772 by Spanish Franciscan Junípero Serra, San Luis Obispo is one of California's oldest communities. The city, locally referred to as San Luis, SLO, or SLO Town (as its county is also referred to as SLO) is the county seat of San Luis Obispo County and is adjacent to California Polytechnic State University. The population was 45,119 at the 2010 census. The population of San Luis Obispo County was 269,637 in 2010.

Number 7: Naples-Marco Island, Florida

Photos: Ten happiest American cities -- and the two Colorado places on the list
Naples is a principal city of the Naples-Marco Island, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area, which had an estimated total population of 315,839 on July 1, 2007. Although Naples is officially the county seat of Collier County,[6] the courthouse is located in East Naples. Naples, Florida is one of the wealthiest cities in the United States, with the 6th highest per capita income in America, and the second highest proportion of millionaires per capita in the US. Real estate is amongst the most expensive in the country, with houses on sale for in excess of $40 million.

Continue to keep counting down the ten happiest American cities -- and the two Colorado places on the list.

 

Number 6: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Photos: Ten happiest American cities -- and the two Colorado places on the list
Ann Arbor is home to the University of Michigan, a world-renowned institution of higher education. The university shapes Ann Arbor's economy significantly as it employs about 30,000 workers, including about 12,000 in the medical center. The city's economy is also centered on high technology, with several companies drawn to the area by the university's research and development money, and by its graduates.

Number 5: San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, California

Photos: Ten happiest American cities -- and the two Colorado places on the list
After more than 150 years as a small farming community, the San Jose area in the mid-20th century contained some of the last undeveloped land near San Francisco Bay. It then began to experience rapid population growth, much of it coming from veterans returning from World War II. San Jose then continued its aggressive expansion during the 1950s and 1960s by annexing more land area. The rapid growth of the high-technology and electronics industries further accelerated the transition from an agricultural center, to an urbanized metropolitan area.

Continue to keep counting down the ten happiest American cities -- and the two Colorado places on the list.

 

Number 4: Honolulu

Photos: Ten happiest American cities -- and the two Colorado places on the list
Situated on the island of Oahu, it is known worldwide as a major tourist destination; Honolulu is the main gateway to Hawaii and a major gateway into the United States of America. It is also a major hub for international business, military defense, as well as famously being host to a diverse variety of east-west and Pacific culture, cuisine, and traditions.

Number 3: Fort Collins-Loveland, Colorado

Photos: Ten happiest American cities -- and the two Colorado places on the list
With a 2012 estimated population of 148,612, it is the fourth most populous city in Colorado after Aurora, Colorado Springs and Denver. Fort Collins is a midsize college city, home to Colorado State University. It was named Money magazine's Best Place to Live in the U.S. in 2006, No. 2 in 2008, and No. 6 in 2010. It is also known as one of the towns that inspired the design of Main Street, U.S.A. inside the main entrance of the many 'Disneyland'-style parks run by The Walt Disney Company around the world.

Continue to keep counting down the ten happiest American cities -- and the one more Colorado place on the list.

 

Number 2: Boulder, Colorado

Photos: Ten happiest American cities -- and the two Colorado places on the list
Boulder is famous for its colorful Western history, being a choice destination for hippies in the late 1960s, and as home of the main campus of the University of Colorado, the state's largest university. Furthermore, the city of Boulder frequently acquires top rankings in health, well-being, quality of life, education, and art.

Number 1: Provo-Orem, Utah

Photos: Ten happiest American cities -- and the two Colorado places on the list
The city is home to Brigham Young University, a private higher education institution in the United States, which is operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Provo is also home to the largest Missionary Training Center for the LDS Church. The city is a key operational center for Novell and has been a focus area for technology development in Utah.

Here's the complete report:

State of American Well Being 2013

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our News archive circa February 2010: "Boulder's the happiest city in the USA: How much does weed help?"


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