CLARKSBURG, W.Va. (WBOY) – Two West Virginia cities were ranked among the most unhappy cities in the nation in a recent study from WalletHub.

Using “positive-psychology research,” WalletHub determined which among 182 of the largest U.S. cities is home to the happiest people in America.

The results of their study found that Huntington W.Va. was the 181 most happy place in the nation with Charleston, W.Va. close behind at 171.

Another noteworthy finding includes the depression rate, which WalletHub labels Huntington and Charleston as having the highest in the nation at 182 and 181 respectively. Charleston also has the 179 lowest income growth, but Huntington actually has one of the fewest work hours, tying for third with New Haven, Conn.

Source: WalletHub
Overall Rank CityTotal Score Emotional & Physical Well-Being Income & Employment Community & Environment 
1Fremont, CA76.101341
2San Jose, CA70.352364
3Madison, WI69.725418
4Overland Park, KS68.936876
5San Francisco, CA68.734869
171Charleston, WV38.7517630170
181Huntington, WV32.83182107140
182Detroit, MI30.60181178180
Note: With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that city, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.

To achieve their results, WalletHub compared 150 of the most populated U.S. cities, along with at least two of the most populated cities in each state. 182 cities in total were examined across three key dimensions that were divided into 30 weighted metrics, then graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing maximum happiness. The weighted average of each city’s metrics were then used to calculate its overall score.

“Data for metrics marked with an asterisk (*) were available only at the state level,” WalletHub said.

WalletHub cites the following research in their analysis, saying they “indicated a correlation between our data and happiness:”

  • Happy People Live Longer: Subjective Well-Being Contributes to Health and Longevity (Chan and Diener, 2010)
  • Happiness from Ordinary and Extraordinary Experiences (Bhattacharjee and Mogilner, 2014)
  • Sports Participation and Happiness: Evidence from U.S. Micro Data (Huang and Humphreys, 2010)
  • Unhappy Cities (Glaeser, et al., 2014)

Emotional & Physical Well-Being – Total Points: 50

  • Life-Satisfaction Index: Full Weight (~2.82 Points)
  • Depression Rate: Double Weight (~5.63 Points)
  • Suicide Rate: Full Weight (~2.82 Points)
  • Adequate-Sleep Rate: Double Weight (~5.63 Points)
  • Physical-Health Index: Double Weight (~5.63 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the percentage of adults reporting good or better health.
  • Sports-Participation Rate: Double Weight (~5.63 Points)
  • Share of People Aged 12 or Older Who Used Marijuana in the Past Month: Half Weight (~1.41 Points)
  • Retail Opioid Prescriptions Dispensed per 100 Persons: Quarter Weight (~0.70 Points)
  • Share of Adults with Mental Health Not Good: Double Weight (~5.63 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the percentage of adults with 14 or more mentally unhealthy days reported in the past month.
  • Life Expectancy: Full Weight (~2.82 Points)
  • Food-Insecurity Rate: Double Weight (~5.63 Points)
  • Percentage of Residents Who Are Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19: Double Weight (~5.63 Points)

Income & Employment – Total Points: 25

  • Income-Growth Rate: Double Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Share of Households Earning Annual Incomes Above $75,000: Full Weight (~1.56 Points)
  • Poverty Rate: Full Weight (~1.56 Points)
  • Job Satisfaction: Full Weight (~1.56 Points)
  • 4+ Star Job Opportunities per Total People in the Labor Force: Full Weight (~1.56 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the number of job opportunities at 4+ star rated companies on per the total people in the labor force.
  • Job Security: Full Weight (~1.56 Points)
    Note: This metric measures the probability of unemployment.
  • Unemployment Rate: Double Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Underemployment Rate: Double Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Bankruptcy Rate: Double Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Weekly Work Hours: Double Weight (~3.13 Points)
  • Commute Time: Full Weight (~1.56 Points)

Community & Environment – Total Points: 25

  • WalletHub’s “Most Caring Cities” Ranking: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • Separation & Divorce Rate: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • Hate-Crime Incidents per Capita: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
  • Ideal Weather: Half Weight (~1.79 Points)
    Note: This metric uses data from WalletHub’s “Cities with the Best & Worst Weather” ranking.
  • Acres of Parkland per 1,000 Residents: Half Weight (~1.79 Points)
  • Average Leisure Time Spent per Day*: Double Weight (~7.14 Points)
  • Well-Being “Community” Index Score: Full Weight (~3.57 Points)
    Note: This metric refers to the “Community” section of the Sharecare Well-Being Index, which refers to “liking where you live, feeling safe and having pride in your community.”