MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Carver County was ranked the happiest large county in the nation according to a study by SmartAsset, a financial institution based in New York City. It is the second consecutive year the county topped the list, SmartAsset said.
This is partially due to a high level of physical activity, with over 83% of Carver County residents getting at least some exercise. Also contributing to the score is high marriage rates and low divorce rates, the company said.
Five of the top counties are located in the Midwest.
The company analyzed data from 980 counties across the U.S. that had populations over 50,000. There are 3,141 counties in the nation, according to USGS.
Eight categories were taken into account when determining happiness: Unemployment rates, poverty rates, income and cost of living ratios, marriage rates, divorce rates, personal bankruptcy rates, life expectancy, and physical activity. Each metric was given equal rate, the institution said.
Scott County, Minnesota was also ranked highly on the happiness score– rising to the seventh happiest county, SmartAsset reported. Factors contributing to the high score are high average incomes and low unemployment rates. Over 82% of Scott County residents get at least some physical activity, and life expectancy is just above 81 years old, the report said.
SmartAsset says their data came from the U.S. Courts, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, and the Census Bureau American Community Survey. You can find links to those websites in the sidebar.