Boulder named happiest city in U.S.; Fort Collins, Colorado Springs make top 25

BOULDER, Colo. — Boulder has been named the happiest city in America by National Geographic.

Fort Collins was also on the list at No. 4 and Colorado Springs came in at No. 18.

The study measured 15 aspects that included healthy eating habits, financial security, vacation time and the how easy it is to learn something new.

National Geographic teamed with author Dan Buettner and Gallup to interview more than 250,000 people in 190 cities to come up with the list of the top 25 happiest places in America.

“Bolstered by a sense of community, access to nature, sustainable urban development and preservation policies, and perhaps even that clean mountain air, Boulderites overwhelmingly feel ‘active and productive every day,’” Buettner told National Geographic.

The study said Boulder has low rates of smoking and obesity, and, per capita, more people walk to work than any other American city.

“There’s a high correlation between bikeability and happiness in a city. In Boulder you’re more likely to hear the whoosh of a cyclist than the shrill of a siren compared to places like Dallas, Tallahassee, or Los Angeles. Cities like Boulder question the unquestioned virtues of development,” Buettner told National Geographic.

“This benefits visitors, who can experience an emphasis on greenery, a high-quality culinary community, limited marketing onslaught and no billboards.”

Other cities on the list included San Diego, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Washington.

Santa Cruz-Watsonvile, California; Charlottesville, Virginia; and San Luis Obispo-Paso Robles, California, were also in the top five.